Rwanda and the United Nations (UN) have celebrated 60th anniversary of country’s membership, with a commitment for further collaboration for a ‘better and shared future’, besides a long journey that was marked with painful experiences, especially, peace keeping body failure to prevent Genocide against Tutsi in 1994.
The tragedy unfolded with the killing of over 1million Tutsis, in less than three months− 7thApril to 4th July. Then, UN forces known as UNAMIR patrolled streets, but they failed to stop killing and breach the road blocks established by Hutu extremists.
Today, Rwanda remembers its UN membership. It was admitted on 18 September 1962. Themed “Partnering for a Better, Shared Future for All” celebrations were held in Kigali city on October 24.
“We are therefore celebrating sixty years of shared history marked by painful experiences, but also success stories and lessons learned which inspire, or renewed partnership for a better and shared future for all. While, we look for future together, we carry us with failure for the International Community and UN to prevent, or stop Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 besides its signs of its preparation,” Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said.
“A few months after Genocide was stopped. The security council stablished International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda with mandate to prosecute and judge key genocide perpetrators. ICTR rendered 62 convictions against 93 indictments and established major milestones including first institutions to recognize rape as means of conducting Genocide,” Dr. Biruta added.
. We will continue to work with UN in the judicial sector to restore historical truth about Genocide committed against Tutsi in Rwanda for the Genocide to never happened be it Rwanda or other parts of the world. This will be based on the imperative of justice,” Dr. Biruta added.
He pointed out that Rwanda has learned from the past and has chosen to focus on the future to work for the collective good as a member of the international community, adding that the country is now united.
In the sixty year’s journey, Rwanda has been partnering with the UN across a broad range of sectors that target to achieve her sustainable development goals including agriculture to address youth employment, social, political, and economic transformation of the country.
According to Dr. Biruta, painful and success stories inspire youth for a better and shared future.
During the celebrations, Rwanda also committed further partnership in addressing common challenges in diverse areas including socio-economic development, gender equality, peacekeeping, refugees’ rights protection, and climate change.
“On our failures as an International Community, we honour the memory of those who lost their lives. And we stand in awe of the resilience of the survivors,” Maxwell Gomera, UN representative in Rwanda said.
“Since then, the government of Rwanda has worked hard to create a more stable, stronger and just society. Together, we have worked to ensure gender parity through a particular focus on creating opportunities for women and girls and removing barriers to their progress,” Gomera added.
Rwanda is one of the biggest contributors to the UN peacekeeping missions with over 5,000 military and police personnel deployed in different countries.