|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Note to Correspondents
World Humanitarian Day, Anniversary of Baghdad Bombing to Be
Observed at United Nations Headquarters 19 August
The second World Humanitarian Day and the seventh anniversary of the attack against the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad will be observed on Thursday, 19 August, at 10:30 a.m., in the General Assembly Building public lobby.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will lay a wreath in front of the memorial plaque located outside the Meditation Room in remembrance of the 22 United Nations staff members killed in the truck bomb attack of 19 August 2003, which also claimed the life of the United Nations envoy in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. The wreath-laying ceremony shall be followed by a moment of silence.
The second World Humanitarian Day commemoration, held in the North-East Gallery of the General Assembly Building, will feature opening remarks by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes, a statement by the Secretary-General and a short film highlighting this year’s theme for the Day, “I am a Humanitarian”. A photo exhibit capturing the images from the 12 January 2010 Haiti earthquake will be the background for the commemoration.
The second observance of the Day intends to raise awareness of what it means to be a humanitarian aid worker by describing the work humanitarians do, explaining the principles all humanitarians are guided by and portraying the hazards humanitarian aid workers face in the course of their work. The Day will also honour humanitarian aid workers who have been killed or injured in the course of their work.
The General Assembly on 11 December 2008 (resolution 63/139) designated 19 August, the date of the Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad, as World Humanitarian Day “to contribute to increasing public awareness about humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in this regard, as well as to honour all humanitarian and United Nations and associated personnel who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty”.
An information package about the Day, including information on the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers and on global humanitarian assistance trends in 2010, is available.
The wreath-laying ceremony is organized by the Staff Union Standing Committee on the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service.
For further information, please visit www.worldhumanitarianday.info, or contact Nicholas Reader at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tel.: +1 212 963 4961, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* *** *For information media • not an official record