Delivered at the ACP House, Brussels – 7 April 2012

Eighteen years ago, Rwanda unwittingly found itself in the full glare of the international spotlight as the scene of unspeakable atrocities. The memory of this horrifying genocide of 1994 remains vividly etched in our collective memory and serves as a reminder of the need to remain vigilant.

Fully aware of the duty of the international community to keep this memory alive, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States reaffirms its compassion, solidarity and support for the Government and people of Rwanda by commemorating, with them, this day of remembrance in honour of the victims of this heinous crime against humanity.

In keeping with the conclusions of the 79th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers held in Gaborone, Botswana, on 4 and 5 May 2004, which called for 7 April to be commemorated as the day of remembrance of the Rwandan genocide, the ACP Group:

  1. Pays tribute to the untiring efforts of the Government and people of Rwanda to close this sad chapter in Rwanda’s history, and to resolutely continue in their efforts to achieve reconciliation and the consolidation of national unity, with full respect for the principles of human rights, the rule of law and democracy;
  1. Encourages the international community to continue its battle against impunity, notably by setting up mechanisms for legal cooperation with Rwanda;

  1. Fully supports the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and commends its contribution to unearthing the truth about this horrible episode in human history

  1. Supports all initiatives by the Government of Rwanda to rehabilitate the victims of the Rwandan genocide, restore their dignity and ensure their well-being;

  1. Notes with regret the persistent trend towards denial and revisionism, and its potential danger of sparking a repeat of the atrocities, and reiterates its appeal to all ACP States, the European Union and entire international community, to adopt legal instruments designed to prohibit this phenomenon in all its forms;
  1. Renews its support for the Government and people of Rwanda in their continued efforts to ensure that the memory of the innocent victims of the genocide is honoured, condemns any act that desecrates the genocide memorials, and urges all States to ensure due protection and respect for these sites;

  1. Undertakes to combat the root causes of violence and genocide, in particular hatred, intolerance, racism, and tyranny, and calls on ACP States to pursue and strengthen their cooperation in order to eradicate these social ills, which constitute fertile ground for genocides and other widespread human rights violations; and
  1. Urges all ACP States to hold, on this 18th anniversary of remembrance, deep reflections on the causes of the genocide and on the lessons to be learnt in order to strengthen their national systems with a view to preventing any such atrocities in the future.


(Pictured: Graves of genocide victims in Rwanda/ AP Photo)