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UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, Remarks…

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, Remarks at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
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Remarks by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

I am here at Tuol Sleng today to pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the atrocity crimes committed throughout Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge period.

The suffering that took place within these walls is horrific and shocking. The stories of survival and resilience are moving and inspiring.

I thank the Museum for its extraordinary work to raise awareness of these atrocity crimes, as part of efforts to ensure they can never happen again.

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia have held several Khmer Rouge leaders accountable for these atrocities and provided a voice to victims and survivors.

Their voices are more important than ever, at a time when hate speech, abuse, discrimination and harassment are on the rise in every corner of the world.

Tuol Sleng is an essential reminder. Its bloodstained bricks and tiles are a warning to us all:

This is what happens when hatred runs rampant.

This is what happens when human beings are persecuted, and human rights are denied.

Preserving the memory of those who suffered and died at Tuol Sleng helps to ensure that such atrocities are never repeated.

I promised to tell the story that I heard from one of the survivors to my granddaughters and I'll tell them to convey that story to their grandchildren. It is essential that the memory of what happened here is never lost.

By learning to recognize the first warning signs of genocide and other atrocity crimes, and honouring the values of inclusion and dignity, we can lay the foundations for a future in which such horrors can never happen again.

Thank you.