DECLARATION OF THE ACP GROUP ON THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RWANDA GENOCIDE
Today, Rwanda and the entire international community is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the genocide that took place in that country in 1994. The memory of this unspeakable tragedy continues to haunt our collective memory and constantly reminds us of the absolute need to remain vigilant in the face of the risk, not yet definitively eliminated, of reliving such inhumane acts based on an unjustified hatred of your fellowman.
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 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:
- Pays tribute to the sustained and effective efforts of the Government and people of Rwanda to definitively close this chapter in Rwanda’s history, and to resolutely continue in their efforts to build a peaceful, fair, prosperous and democratic society;
- Supports all initiatives by the Government of Rwanda to rehabilitate the victims of the Rwandan genocide, restore their dignity and ensure their well-being;
- 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;
- 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 historyand fully supports the Mechanism created by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010) to carry out the residual functions of the ICTR after its closure;
- Notes with regret the persistent phenomenon of denial and revisionism, and its potential danger of sparking a recurrence 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;
- 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 sacred sites;
- Undertakes to combat the root causes of violence and the genocide, in particular hatred, intolerance, racism, 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 largescale human rights violations; and
- Urges all ACP States, on this 20th 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 2014