The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for the international community to never forget and never stop working to prevent genocide and pledged continuous support to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The Secretary-General said that the achievements of the Tribunal will greatly contribute to the process of national reconciliation in Rwanda and to the ending of impunity in Africa and beyond. The Secretary-General arrived at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the company of his wife Yoo Soon-Taek and several of his advisers in the afternoon of Friday 27th February 2009.
Soon after his arrival, the Secretary-General addressed ICTR staff at a town hall meeting in Simba Hall after introductory remarks of the Registrar, the Prosecutor and the President of the Tribunal. He made a short speech praising the work of the Tribunal and stressing the need for staff to continue sustaining their strong commitment to it. The Secretary-General answered a few questions from staff members. The questions revolved around the conditions of services and employment termination benefits once the work of the ICTR is completed.
The Secretary-General and his delegation thereafter attended a special court session showcasing some of the ICTR key achievements. Before leaving the Tribunal, the Secretary-General had photo sessions with the ICTR Judges, Prosecutor, Registrar and staff. He also held a brief press conference during which he lauded the remarkable contributions to the development of a credible international justice system and the fight against impunity.
Commenting on the visit the ICTR Registrar, Adama Dieng, stated that “the Secretary-General visit has immensely raised the morale of the staff at this critical time.” The Secretary-General’s visit is part of a week-long official tour of Africa. He started his tour with a visit to South Africa last Tuesday and arrived in Tanzania yesterday to meet President Jakaya Kikwete.
En route to Arusha, Mr. Ban flew over the receding icecap of Mount Kilimanjaro to have a good sight of the effects of climate changes.