Hundreds of United Nations staff members gathered at the Memorial Garden, Gigiri, in Nairobi to observe the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, read the Secretary-General's message commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
In his message, Mr. Kofi Annan said that the genocide in Rwanda should never have happened, but it did. "Neither the UN Secretariat, nor the Security Council, nor Member States in general, nor the international media, paid enough attention to the gathering signs of disaster," he said.
"Eight hundred thousand men, women and children were abandoned to the most brutal of deaths, as neighbour killed neighbour and sanctuaries such as churches and hospitals were turned into slaughterhouses. The international community failed Rwanda, and that must leave us always with a sense of bitter regret and abiding sorrow, " Mr. Annan said.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Paul Andre de la Porte, said that if the world is to stop acts of genocide, then adequate investments in peace building and conflict resolution should be brought to bear. "A proactive world is the only way we can honour the victims of the Rwandan genocide," he said
The gathering observed a minute of silence as a message resolve to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.
Similar ceremonies were held in New York, Geneva, and Kigali where the Secretary-General's message was delivered by his Special Adviser, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari.