Press Release

Security Council presidentís statement at memorial ceremonyon un staff day

Following is the statement of Lauro L. Baja (Philippines), President of the Security Council, delivered on behalf of the Council during the United Nations Staff Day Memorial Ceremony at Headquarters on 11 June:

I am honoured to address you, on behalf of the members of the Security Council in todayís solemn ceremony remembering your co-workers who have fallen since last yearís UN Staff Day.

As their names will be read during the later part of this programme, we should console ourselves with the thought that they have not left us in vain.† Their passing will inspire us to carry with firmer resolve and with renewed vigour the torch that translates the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations into reality -- by keeping the peace, feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the roofless, caring for the sick, educating the unlettered, and enabling the impoverished help themselves in rebuilding their nations and their economies in conflict-stricken parts of the world.

This occasion should also be an opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women of the United Nations and its associated organizations in the field, both civilians and those wearing the blue helmet, who are undaunted by the inexorable perils attendant to their work.† Together with their colleagues in the Headquarters, this pursuit of the goals of the United Nations serves as a collective conscience and moral force of mankind and help actualize the universal hopes in the United Nations for the promotion of peace, justice and prosperity.

The adoption by the Security Council of Resolution 1502 on 26 August 2003 has raised the level of importance of and concern for the safety and protection of humanitarian personnel, United Nations and associated personnel.† It serves notice to concerned governments to ensure that crimes committed against them do not remain unpunished.† It also expresses the Councilís determination to take appropriate steps in order to ensure their safety and security.

In his latest report to the General Assembly, the Secretary-General observed that almost two thirds of the Member States of the United Nations have yet to ratify the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel.† To enhance its protective regime, this 1994 Convention should be a universal international instrument at the earliest possible time.

I commend your yearly observance of the UN Staff Day honouring the fallen among your ranks.† The Council remains and will remain seized of the issue of the safety and security of all United Nations and associated personnel.

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