DPI pays tribute to victims of a “crime without a name” - the Rwandan Genocide
Posted: Tuesday, 14 May 2013, New York | Author: Department of Public Information
The Genocide Convention adopted by the UN in 1948 was meant to ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust never be repeated anywhere on earth. But since then, the world community has consistently failed to prevent genocide in places like Cambodia, Rwanda, and Bosnia. Why has the promise of "never again" proven so difficult to honour?
Partly because much of the world has neither been exposed to nor drawn lessons from what UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill called a "crime that has no name": the deliberate and systematic extermination of some 6 million European Jews.
In 2003, by its resolution 58/234, the General Assembly mandated 7 April as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.
With its global reach, the UN Department of Public Information staged 20 events through UN Information Centres (UNICs), paying tribute to the millions of innocent people slain during the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. In an effort to ensure that "Never Again" would the world stand for acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing, UNICs conducted a mass educational campaign. Looking back with an eye towards future prevention, the Centres went deep into local communities to educate and raise awareness of the heinous crime.
The UN Office (UNO) Asmara began a “Walk to Remember” at the Expo Ground with Government Ministers, Ambassadors, UN Agencies Heads, staff and civil society present. Giving survivors a message of hope, the walk raised awareness and empowered participants to stand strong against genocide.
Months before the Day, UNIC Brazzaville organized in February, a panel discussion on “Hate Speech and Incitement to Genocide”. Panelists examined the type of speech used in Congolese media and the implementation of genocide during World War II. They also reviewed a case study of the “Radio Televison des Milles Collines" in Rwanda and discussed freedom of expression and journalists' social responsibilities.
UNIC Dhaka observed the Day with the University of Information Technology and Sciences (UITS) and Daffodil International University (DIU). In addition were a seminar, human rights poems and a drama entitled “We Sing of Equality” enacted by the DIU theatre group. The UNIC Officer-in-Charge spoke about reconciliation through peace and development in Rwanda and retired Lt. Col. Khairul Bashar poignantly reflected on his experience working in the Rwanda Peacekeeping Mission.