DECLARATION OF THE ACP GROUP OF STATES ON THE OCCASION OF THE 21st ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1994 GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, as well the entire international community, joins with the people and the Government of Rwanda in commemorating today, 7 April 2015, the 21st anniversary of the tragically infamous events that plunged Rwanda into shock in 1994.
The genocide remains vividly etched in our collective memory and calls for us to remain vigilant in the face of such an unspeakable crime which, despite international efforts to ensure that it “never happens again”, has still not yet been definitively removed from this world.
Fully aware of the duty of the international community to keep this memory alive, the ACP Group of States reaffirms its compassion, solidarity and support for the people and Government 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 decision 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 of States:
1. Pays tribute to the sustained and effective efforts of the people and Government of Rwanda to definitively close this chapter in Rwanda’s history, and to resolutely continue, through reconciliation and consolidating national unity, to strengthen a peaceful, fair, democratic and prosperous society;
2. Supports all initiatives by the Government of Rwanda to rehabilitate the victims of the Rwandan genocide, restore their dignity and ensure their well-being;
3. Encourages the international community to continue its battle against impunity, notably by setting up mechanisms for legal cooperation with Rwanda to track down the alleged perpetrators of this genocide, wherever they may be in the world;
4. Welcomes the contribution of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and commends its contribution to unearthing the truth about this horrible episode in human history and fully supports the Mechanism created by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010) to carry out the residual functions of the ICTR;
5. Notes with regret the persistent phenomenon of denial and revisionism, and its potential danger of sparking a recurrence of the atrocities; 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 and, to this end, believes that it would be important to set up an arsenal of legal provisions that penalise the denial and revisionism of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda;
6. Renews its support for the people and Government 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 sacred sites;
7. Undertakes to combat the root causes of violence and the genocide, in particular hatred, intolerance, racism, xenophobia, fundamentalism 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 large-scale human rights violations; and
8. Urges all ACP States, on this 21st day of remembrance, to engage in deep reflection 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.
Brussels, 7 April 2015