23 December 2003, the General Assembly adopted a resolution, designating
7 April 2004 as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994
Genocide in Rwanda to commemorate –- on the tenth anniversary
of those events -- the victims and promote a recommitment to the
fight against genocide throughout the world. Noting that many
of the perpetrators continued to elude justice, the Assembly expressed
its conviction that exposing and holding them and their accomplices
accountable, as well as restoring the dignity of the victims,
would guide societies in the prevention of further such violations.
Commemorative events will be taking place in Kigali, New York,
Geneva, and Brussels as well as other capitals around the globe.
In Kigali, Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari
will represent the UN at the ceremonies.
In New York there will be a meeting of the General
Assembly and a high-level panel discussion.
In Geneva, the Secretary-General will make an
important speech to the Commission on Human Rights.
In Brussels there will be commemorations by both
officials and NGOs.
The Secretary-General has also announced that on 7 April
at 12 noon local time, the UN will observe one minute of silence
in memory of the victims of the genocide and he has invited
Member States and civil society to do the same.
at RUNIC Brussels
April 2004, 12:00 noon
Director Andreas Nicklisch read the message of the Secretary-General.
minute of silence was observed in memory of the victims of the
MESSAGE ON THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
7 April 2004
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. 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.
Ten years later, we are still trying to pick up the pieces. In
Rwanda itself, the United Nations is doing its utmost to help
people recover and reconcile. We are present throughout the country
-- clearing mines, repatriating refugees, rehabilitating clinics
and schools, building up the judicial system, and much else. In
Tanzania, a United Nations criminal tribunal has handed down pioneering
verdicts, including the first to find a former head of government,
and journalists, guilty of genocide, and the first to determine
that rape was used as an act of genocide. With these and other
steps, the United Nations is doing what it can to help Rwandans,
especially the young generation who are the future of the country,
build a new society together.
But are we confident that, confronted by a new Rwanda today, we
can respond effectively, in good time? We can by no means be certain
we would. And the risk of genocide remains frighteningly real.
That is why I have decided to use this anniversary to announce,
before the UN Commission on Human Rights, an Action Plan to Prevent
Genocide involving the entire UN system. We cannot afford to wait
until the worst has happened, or is already happening, or end
up with little more than futile hand-wringing or callous indifference.
The world must be better equipped to prevent genocide, and act
decisively to stop it when prevention fails.
The minute of silence being observed around the world at noon
on 7 April, the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide
in Rwanda, is an opportunity to be united in a way we were not
ten years ago. I hope this minute will send a message that will
resound for years to come – a message of remorse for the
past, and of resolve to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening
again. May the victims of the Rwandan genocide rest in peace.
May our waking hours be lastingly altered by their sacrifice.
And may we all reach beyond this tragedy, and work together to
recognize our common humanity.
of Hassen Fodha, Director of the Regional United Nations Information Center
(RUNIC) to H.E Romano Prodi, President of the EC (15 March 2004).
Meeting of the heads of UN
offices, agencies, funds and programmes in Brussels
of UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes in Brussels held a two-day
meeting on 11 and 12 March, to discuss joint areas of policy and advocacy
where the UN presence can cooperate in activities for the overall benefit
of the UN family in Brussels.
meeting of its kind of the UN system in Brussels, it aimed at strengthening
UN efforts to work together and to build good and efficient cooperation
with European partners, institutions and civil society. The meetings took
place at the United Nations Office in Brussels (UNOB), Rue Montoyer, with
the participation of 14 heads of the various UN offices in Brussels.
LAUNCH OF THE ANNUAL
REPORT OF THE
INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL BOARD
The Regional United Nations Information Centre (RUNIC) launched the INCB
report on 2 March in five West European countries. In addition to its
headquarters in Brussels, the report was also launched in Berlin, Lisbon,
London and Paris and resulted in wide media coverage.
The report was launched
at the International Press Centre in the Residence Palace.
INCB Board member Robert Lousberg from the Netherlands presented the report
and answered questions. Laura d'Arrigo from the Unit for Anti-Drugs Policy
Coordination at the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice
and Home Affairs was also present and responded to questions on EU drugs
policy. The press conference was moderated by RUNIC Director Hassen Fodha.
Major stories on the launch were carried by: Le Soir, La
Libre Belgique, Vers L’Avenir, le Bulletin quotidien
Europe (in English, French, Italian and German) De Morgen, De
Standaard, "Mo" and Belga. Foreign press agencies also
covered the event. Interviews with the RUNIC Director were carried by
RTBF radio news, RTBF radio Matin première and
The report was launched
at the Berlin Federal Press Office by the INCB Secretary Herbert Schaepe.
Desk Officer for Germany Arne Molfenter moderated the press conference.
The launch was covered by Berliner Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel
and Hamburger Abendblatt, as well as the wire agencies AP,
Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa) and Evangelischer Pressedienst
(epd). Germany's national public TV station ARD
carried a large backgrounder on the INCB report and the press conference
on its main website (www.tagesschau.de).
The report was launched
at the Centre for Judicial Studies by Joaquim Rodrigues, a renowned drug
expert and Portugal's Permanent Correspondent in the Pompidou Group, of
the Council of Europe. Joana Marques Vidal, Deputy Director of the Centre
welcomed the guests and Mafalda Tello, Desk Officer for Portugal made
an introductory statement, explaining the functions of INCB.
The launch was covered by Público, Diário de Notícias,
Jornal de Notícias, A Capital and Correio da Manhã.
In addition, weekly magazines Tempo and Seminario carried
articles on the report. The TV networks Radiotelevisão Portuguesa,
TVI and SIC leading radio broadcasters RDP and
Radio Renascença also covered the launch.
The launch was held
on the premises of International Labour Organization (ILO). INCB Board
member Professor Hamid Ghodse introduced the report and answered questions.
Andreas Nicklisch, RUNIC Deputy Regional Director (with responsibility
for the UK and Ireland) moderated the press launch.
Major stories on the launch were carried by: The Guardian, The
Times, The Independent, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph.
The launch was also covered by Reuters and the BBC News
website. Interviews with Professor Ghodse were carried by British
Satellite News, Sky News, BBC Home Affairs and Radio
The report was launched
at the Foreign Press Centre in “La Maison de la Radio”, with
a general presentation by the RUNIC Desk Officer for France, Jean-Pierre
The report was covered by Libération and Radio France
Launch of the new UNCTAD report:
"Economic Development in Africa: Trade Performance and Commodity
Dependence 25-02-2004 10.00am
25 February 2004 -
10.00 am at the International Press Center (IPC),
Reading room (Ground floor) Résidence Palace, 155 rue de la Loi,
Wetstraat, 155 1040 Brussels
Mr. Kamran KOUSARI, UNCTAD special coordinator for Africa, will present
the new report and answer questions.
The report highlights that the majority of African countries are boxed
into a trading structure that subjects them to secular terms-of-trade
losses and volatile foreign exchange earnings. The report echoes French
President Chirac's call for ending the "conspiracy of silence"
on commodity issues.
EMBARGO: The contents of this report must not be quoted or summarized
in the press, on radio, or on television, before 26 February 2004 17:00
For more information about the report please contact: UNCTAD Press Office,
+41 22 917 5828, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.unctad.org/press ; or K. Kousari,
Special Coordinator for Africa, +41 22 917 5800, email@example.com;
or RUNIC Brussels 32.2.289.28.90 or 32.2. 287.40. 02 Fax. 32.2.502.40.61