World Needs to Learn from Rwanda Genocide

22 Apr 2013

The remarks formed part of a commemoration, organized by the Iranian Association of United Nations Studies (IAUNS) and the UN Information Centre, of the April 1994 genocide in which over 800,000 people were murdered in 100 days of killing.


Gary Lewis, United nation resident coordinator in iran and undp resident representative speaks in the event of commemoration of genocide in rwanda

“The United Nations works every day to learn the lessons of Rwanda and to prevent any recurrence of such horror”, said Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator in Iran.  He delivered these remarks as part of a speech made on behalf of the UN Secretary-General in Tehran today.

The remarks formed part of a commemoration, organized by the Iranian Association of United Nations Studies (IAUNS) and the UN Information Centre, of the April 1994 genocide in which over 800,000 people were murdered in 100 days of killing.

Speaking at the start of the event, Dr. Nasrin Mossaffa, Founder of the association, noted that Rwanda represented a “failure of the UN” to protect the citizens of Rwanda.


dr.nasrin mosaffa, founder of the iranian association of united nation studies © vina barahman

Prior to reading the message from the Secretary-General, Mr. Lewis offered a perspective from his own recollection of this event as a serving officer in the UN at the time.


Dr. Jamsheed momtaz, head of the iranian association of un studies made a speech on "doctorine of responsibility to protect and protecting civilian in armed conflicts" ©vina barahman

Speeches were also made by Dr. Jamshid Momtaz, Head of the association, on “Doctrine of responsibility to protect and protecting civilians in armed conflicts”, and Dr. Farideh Shayegan, Secretary-General of the association, on “Intervention based on invitation in conflicts and internal conflicts and doctrine of responsibility to protect”.


dr.farideh shayegan, secretary general of the association makes a speech on intervention based on invitation in conflicts and internal conflicts and doctorin responsibility to protect" © Sadegh isfahani, courtesy of unic

On 7 April 1994, the genocide started, lasting just over three months and resulting in the murder of as much as one-fifth of Rwanda’s entire population.