Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Remarks at wreath-laying ceremony

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 06 April 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We gather, today, to mourn our colleagues.

The roster of the fallen, in recent days, has been shocking and profoundly sad.

We stand in solidarity with their friends and families, united in sorrow, but united also in our mission.

Like those who have gone before, they gave their lives to the most noble of causes: helping those in need, working for peace.

That is our daily work and it is dangerous work.

We see that, once again, in Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Haiti, Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire.

So far this year, still so young, we have lost at least 40 members of our United Nations family.

In some missions, the cause was accident or natural disaster. Elsewhere it was murder, cold-blooded and brutal.

Today my thoughts are with the victims and their families, with all those who serve in so many dangerous and difficult places under the flag of the United Nations.

As an Organization, we are asked to take on greater and greater responsibility, at greater and greater risk.

In light of these evolving realities, I have instructed our senior managers to undertake an immediate review of our personal security needs and policies.

I will take the findings to the General Assembly and insist that those requirements be met.

Our colleagues in harm's way deserve nothing less.


Dear colleagues,

By laying this wreath we mark a passing.

Let us remember them with a moment of silence.

Let us honor them by carrying on their work.

Thank you.