UN chief calls for a future of tolerance and human rights for all

guterres

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on the international community to learn from the lessons of the genocide in Rwanda, calling for a future of tolerance and human rights for all.

Guterres stated this on Friday in his message to the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, observed every year on April 7..

This year’s event marked the 23rd anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed.

The Secretary-General said the only way to honour the memory of the victims is to ensure that such events never happen again.

The 1994 genocide in the East African country saw the systematic murder of more than 800,000 people.

The vast majority were Tusi, but moderate Hutu, Twa and other groups also suffered during the 100 days of violence.

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“Preventing genocide and other monstrous crimes is a shared responsibility and a core duty of the United Nations.

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“The world must always be alert to the warning signs of genocide, and act quickly and early against the threat.

“History is filled with tragic chapters of hatred, inaction and indifference – a cycle that has led to violence, incarceration and death camps,” he said.

Guterres warned that “the poison of intolerance” still existed around the world.

“Even today, minorities and other groups suffer attacks and exploitation based on who they are”.

The Secretary-General noted that survivors of the genocide continued to face struggles, but praised their resilience and capacity for reconciliation.

He also called on the society to “learn the lessons of Rwanda and work together to build a future of dignity, tolerance and human rights for all”.

A candle lighting ceremony and a minute of silence will be observed at UN Headquarters in New York to mark the Day of Reflection.