Rwanda says UN anti-genocide statement must be backed up with action

[JURIST] Rwandan Foreign Minister Charles Murigande told the UN General Assembly Sunday that Rwanda [JURIST news archive] is dissatisfied with United Nations reforms pushed through at the 2005 World Summit [official website; JURIST news archive] last week. The agreement [PDF text; UN summary, PDF] includes the statement that the international community must intervene in genocide cases, a response to international failure to respond to genocides in Rwanda [Wikipedia backgrounder], Srebrenica [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and Kosovo [JURIST news archive]. Murigande told the UN General Assembly [PDF statement; UN press release] Sunday that Rwanda was probably the only member state where the UN had "consistently neglected to learn from its mistakes, resulting in massive loss of life and untold misery." Calling for actions, not words, Murigande said:

What is clear to us is that no nation or people should have to face the horrors that we faced 11 years ago. Where a State is unable or unwilling to protect its people, as was the case in Rwanda in 1994, then the responsibility to provide such protection should, indeed must, shift immediately to the international community. Such action should be taken, by the UN Security Council, in a timely and decisive manner in order to save the lives of populations under threat. Our pledge of 'never again' to genocide should not ring hollow the next time we are confronted with such crimes.
Murigande also called for international cooperation in prosecuting those involved in Rwanda's genocide:
A collective international response to genocide includes a responsibility for all States to combat impunity and bring to justice any persons accused of having committed such crimes. We find it inexplicable that while some States profess commitment to the Charter, human rights and international law, they allow known suspects of the Rwanda genocide to live in their countries and take no action to apprehend them and transfer them to the ICTR or Rwanda for prosecution. Those States must be challenged, if necessary by the Security Council, to fulfill their international obligations to apprehend and transfer these fugitives for prosecution.
Watch recorded video of Murigande's statement. Reuters has more.

 

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