Marking the 100 days of remembrance of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, UNESCO and the United Nations Department of Global Communications organized a virtual panel discussion "Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education" on 22 June 2021.
Archives play a crucial role in genocide remembrance and education and have been essential for legal procedures and conflict transformation processes in the aftermath of genocide. Establishing comprehensive archives in post-genocide societies can be a challenge, as well as ensuring the continuous preservation of artifacts and documents, and their accessibility to the public. In a context of increasing disinformation, archives as places of authentic historical information, are an important counterbalance to narratives that seek to distort or deny genocidal pasts and form an important basis for informed research and education.
"Memory at risk" is the fifth episode of the live online discussion series, "Beyond the long shadow: engaging with difficult histories". The series is organized by the Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, and the Outreach Programme on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations. The aim of the collaborative series is to develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.