At Rwandan Genocide 30th Anniversary, Gambari Urges Reform Of UN Security Council

At Rwandan Genocide 30th Anniversary, Gambari Urges Reform Of UN Security Council

The call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council was once again on the front burner of deliberations in the context of preventing genocide as witnessed against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994.

At the 30th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, held at Covenant University, Ota Ogun State, the former Under-Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, UN Headquarters New York, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, called on the UN to reform not only in terms of the use or misuse of veto power but in the expansion of its membership in both permanent and non-permanent categories.

He emphasised in his keynote speech at the commemorative public lecture organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria, Rwanda High Commission in Nigeria and Covenant University, that the membership of the UN Security Council should be reformed and democratized to reflect today’s economic, demographic and political realities, and Africa should be fully represented and taken into consideration.

“The genocide in Rwanda had the additional and perhaps unintended consequence of reawakening governments in Africa to an appreciation of their own responsibility to protect regarding civilian populations beyond their territorial borders,” Gambari said.

He continued, “Rwanda taught Africans not to rely purely on the goodwill of the larger international community to police and resolve conflicts on their continent. The need for Pax Africana, for Africa to develop its own resources and mechanisms to initiate effective and robust engagements to resolve the problems of the continent, was becoming increasingly apparent.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres  in his remarks, urged everyone to shun hatred and discrimination and stand as one. He said, “On this solemn day of remembrance, let’s pledge to stand as one against all forms of hatred and discrimination. Let’s ensure that the acts that began on April 7 1994, are never forgotten – and never repeated.”

Guterres, whose statement was read by the UNIC National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, assured that “We will never forget the victims of this genocide. Nor will we ever forget the bravery and resilience of those who survived, whose courage and willingness to forgive remain a burst of light and hope amidst this dark chapter in human history.”

The High Commissioner of Rwanda to Nigeria, Christophe Bazivamo noted that “The path to lasting peace demands constant vigilance.”

He said further that “as we renew, we restate our unbreakable pledge to fight intolerance, discrimination, ethnic hatred, hate speech, genocide revisionism, and denial in all their forms”.


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