Responsibility to Protect - Ambassador Rice
In her statement made at the Ambassador Susan E. Rice at the International Peace Institute Vienna Seminar, June 15, 2009, she stated the willingness of USA to work with the international community ending atrocities in the world.
Colleagues, we have just drawn down the curtain on the bloodiest century in human history. That is why the United States is determined to work together with you and others to ensure that the 21st century takes a far lesser toll on civilians—on innocents who should be sheltered by the rule of law and the rules of war. I believe deeply that atrocities are not inevitable. They need not be part of the landscape of world politics unless we let them be.
In recent years, our consciences have been seared by the horrors of Srebrenica, Rwanda, and Darfur. Today, we are challenged again by the desperate plight of civilians in such places as Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sri Lanka, among others.
Ambassador Rice remembered the horror during her visit to Rwanda in 1994.
My interest here is deep and, in part, personal. In 1994, I was serving on the National Security Council staff at the White House. That December, I visited Rwanda for the first time just six months after the Ex-FAR and Interahamwe finished with their machetes, pangas, and guns. As long as I live, I will never forget the horror of walking through a churchyard and adjacent schoolyard where one of the massacres had occurred. Six months later, the decomposing bodies of those who had been so cruelly murdered still lay strewn around what should have been a place of peace. For me, the memory of stepping around those corpses will remain the most searing reminder imaginable of what we must all aim to prevent.
Ambassador Rice stressed the importance of not just believing in "Never Again" to genocide in our hearts, but also making it a reality.
Ever since the Holocaust, the world has often said, “Never again.” In our hearts, I believe we mean it. But the undeniable fact is: we all have much more to do to give those words meaning and strength, to make them real.