DECLARATION BY THE ACP GROUP OF STATES ON THE OCCASION OF THE 17th ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1994 GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
Brussels – 7 April 2011
Seventeen years have now passed since the genocide that plunged Rwanda into mourning in 1994. Yet, that horrific period remains vividly etched in our collective memory and serves as a reminder to the international community of the need to remain vigilant in the face of the risk – that can never be completely discounted – of reliving similar tragedies fuelled solely by racial, ethnic or ideological differences.
Aware of the duty of all countries and international institutions to keep 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 terrible chapter in Rwanda’s history, and to resolutely continue 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;
2.Encourages the international community to continue its battle against impunity, notably by setting up mechanisms for legal cooperation with Rwanda;
3.Supports all initiatives by the Government of Rwanda to rehabilitate the victims of the Rwandan genocide, restore their dignity and ensure their well-being and, in this regard, calls for international solidarity to be demonstrated through the creation of an international fund to assist the survivors of the genocide;
4.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 all forms of denial and revisionism;
5.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; and
6.Emphasizes that increased poverty throughout the world, and particularly in a large number of ACP States, provides fertile ground for all forms of human rights violations, and therefore urges the international community to intensify its efforts to combat poverty;
7.Undertakes to combat the root causes of violence and genocide, in particular hatred, intolerance, racism, and tyranny, and calls on ACP States to continue and strengthen their cooperation to eradicate these social ills, which constitute fertile ground for genocides and other widespread human rights violations; and
8.Calls on all ACP States to undertake, on this 17th day of remembrance, deep reflection on the causes of the genocide and on the lessons to be learnt in order to strengthen their national systems in order to prevent any such atrocities in the future.