ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN
, 18 - 19 AUGUST GENEVA
on Thursday, 19 August, Secretary-General Kofi Annan led the commemoration ceremonies to mark the first anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva . The event was simulcast to United Nations offices in Baghdad and in New York , where similar ceremonies were held. Those were presided over by the Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, in Amman, Jordan , and by the Deputy Special Representative, New York , in Ross Mountain . In all three locations, families and friends of the 22 victims lit candles in their memories. Amman
In the morning, Mr. Annan held a number of meetings, first with Sadako Ogata, former High Commissioner for Refugees. This was followed by meetings with Adolf Ogi, his Special Adviser for Sport for Development and Peace, and with Marcel Boisard, Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General, accompanied by Mrs. Annan, led the commemoration ceremony in the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations. He addressed the families of the deceased, survivors and injured victims of the tragedy. He said it was a personal tragedy -- for the families of the 22 who died and for their colleagues. But, he added, it was also a personal tragedy because it was an attack on the Blue Flag and all who have devoted their lives to the United Nations. He told the audience at a memorial service in
that the attack was a unique blow, as it forced the United Nations to face that its staff has become one of the main targets of political violence. Geneva
Regarding security of staff, the Secretary-General said the systemic weaknesses have to be corrected. And while much has been done, much remains to be done. He assured staff members that he would always insist on the most stringent precautions.
On a more personal note, he said the last year has been not only difficult, but also deeply introspective. He shared with the audience his sense of deep agony as the person who ultimately is responsible for their security and welfare.
In conclusion, he said the pain of the trauma will be with us for a long time, but that our belief in the cause of peace is undiminished, our sense of mission is intact and our work goes on. By furthering the cause of peace we pay tribute to those we cherished, he added. (See Press Release SG/SM/9450.)
He invited the gathering to observe a minute of silence. Family members lit candles for each of the deceased.
Mr. Annan remained with the families for the whole afternoon. In the evening, he and Mrs. Annan attended a concert at
’s Victoria Hall given by Gilberto Gil, Brazilian Minister of Culture where he delivered short remarks. (See Press Release SG/SM/9452.) Geneva
On the previous day, the Secretary-General had met with Louise Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights.
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