UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked on Monday the 14th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda with a call for enhanced efforts to prevent a similar tragedy.
"The United Nations has a moral duty to act on the lessons of Rwanda. That is why this day is also a call to bolster efforts to prevent another genocide," Ban said in a message marking the anniversary.
The secretary-general said that in pursuit of this aim, he had created the full-time position of Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, and appointed a special adviser with a focus on the responsibility to protect.
"It is a cause I am resolved to pursue, in my time as UN secretary-general and in the years beyond," he said.
Ban went on to pledge his determination to work for human rights everywhere, adding that during this sixtieth anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN is pursuing a campaign to ensure that human rights are known and understood around the world.
"In all these endeavors, each one of us has a role to play: governments, the media, civil society, and individuals. May the searing memory of the genocide in Rwanda always spur us on in our mission," he said in conclusion.
Events marking the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide are taking place at UN offices in New York and Geneva, while discussions and exhibitions are planned throughout the month at UN Information Centers in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania and Togo.
About one million people, mainly Tutsis and politically-moderate Hutus, were killed during 100 days of brutal massacres starting April 7, 1994 in Rwanda.