World urged to learn from Rwanda genocide to prevent future atrocities

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Secretary-General on a tour of the Rwanda Genocide Memorial Museum (29/01/2008) UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

As the world prepares to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, countries are being urged to take action to prevent such crimes from occurring.

The call comes from Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

He says "concrete steps" include ratifying an international treaty on genocide prevention and supporting initiatives to restrain the use of the right to veto in the UN Security Council during situations involving mass atrocities.

"So I think as we reflect on Rwanda and enhancing preventive efforts in today's situations—and the mind goes immediately of course not only to Syria, but of course to the Central African Republic and South Sudan—I think history has judged the UN very harshly for its inaction in Rwanda, and we must learn the lessons of the past."

The UN will host an event this Wednesday on understanding early warning and mass atrocities.

Lt. General Roméo Daillaire of Canada, Force Commander at the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda when the country imploded, will be the guest speaker.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’11″

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