Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda and discussion on where we are 25 years after

Prevention and Accountability for Gender-Based Violence in Conflict

11 April 14.30-16.30, UN City
Co-hosted by the Embassy of Rwanda to the Nordic Countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and UN Women

Remembering Rwanda and acknowledging the threats and reality of the 21st century

This year marks the 25th anniversary since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. In a span of only 100 days more than 800,000 men, women and children were murdered, with over 300 lives were lost every hour during the genocide. After the Rwandan genocide, the international community made the vow to ‘Never Again’ allow this crime to happen. A promise that is also inherent in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Genocide Convention) that obliges countries to act on a genocide.

Where are we 25 years after Rwanda?

On the 70th year anniversary of the Genocide Convention in 2018 and almost 25 years after the genocide in Rwanda, UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet expressed that ‘Genocide remains a threat and reality in the 21st century’. The 25th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda therefore marks an important opportunity for self-reflection and dialogue on how we can reaffirm the international communities’ commitment to ‘Never Again’.

How is gender related to genocide?

Men and women (and boys and girls) experience genocide in distinct ways based on their gender. During the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura declared that “rape was as much a tool of genocide as the machete”. In order to grasp the full nature of genocide we therefore need to look beyond the killing, to recognize how gender-based violence became a war crime and act of genocide.

There is strong evidence suggesting that women’s participation in peace processes contributes to longer, more resilient peace after conflict. Yet, despite this, women remain largely excluded from peace processes and negotiations. In order to support women’s full and equal representation and participation in conflict prevention, the gender perspective must be integrated across all levels of peace processes and security efforts.

Justice is key for reconciliation and prevention of genocide

The links between justice and peace are strong in post-genocide societies. Accountability and punishment of the perpetrators in accordance with international standards plays an important role in preventing future genocide by fostering a culture of accountability. A debate about accountability in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide is therefore crucial to increase our potential to bring about justice when facing current crimes against humanity.

Kindly register your participation here by April 9, 2019

For more information about the event, please contact

Kindly bring your ID and set aside sufficient time for registration and security check upon arrival, which starts at 13.45. Coffee/tea will be served


Welcome remarks and presentation of the programme

  • Ms. Caroline Rusten, Director UN Women Nordic Office

Ceremony to commemorate the 25th anniversary since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

  • Remarks by Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda H.E. Christine Nkulikiyinka
  • Remarks by Ambassador Ms. Lisbet Zilmer-Johns, Under Secretary for Global Politics and Security at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Testimony by Genocide Survivor Ms. Beatha Uwazaninka
  • Reading of a Rwandan poem

Panel discussion: Where are we 25 years after Rwanda?

Gender-based violence during the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda: Why and how was it conducted?

  • Ms. Usta Kaitesi, Deputy CEO Rwanda Governance Board

Criminal accountability: How to promote meaningful response to conflict-related sexual crimes?

  • Ms. Anette Bringedal Houge, Head of Humanitarian needs and analyses, Norwegian Red Cross (TBC)

The obligations of the state: How is Denmark working to integrate women in peace and security?

  • Ambassador Ms. Lisbet Zilmer-Johns, Under Secretary for Global Politics and Security at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Reconciliation: What role can women play in peace negotiations?

  • Ms. Lisbeth Pilegaard, Member of the Nordic Women Mediators (NWM)