Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Remarks on Second Anniversary of the bombing of UN Premises in Algiers

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 11 December 2009

Excellencies, Dear colleagues, Dear friends;

We are here to remember, and pay tribute to, the dear colleagues and friends we lost in the horrific bomb attack in Algiers two years ago today.

It seems such a short time ago that I was in Algiers, meeting the traumatized family members and colleagues of those who were killed. I will never forget the sadness and anger I felt that day.

The attack has caused suffering and grief that will never go away. Nothing can ever justify wanton killing and destruction.

Our colleagues who died were working on the full spectrum of UN issues, from food security to human rights and industrial development. In every case, they were devoted to helping the people of Algeria to build better lives for themselves and their children. I salute them, as well as those who are continuing their work with dedication and professionalism.

It is by persevering in the face of such adversity that we demonstrate yet again the greatest strength of the United Nations: the commitment of our staff.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The attack in Algiers, the bombing in Baghdad in 2003, and this year's horrific killings in Afghanistan and Pakistan, point to a truth that we must face. The United Nations is now a target of terrorist groups. We are still considering all the implications of this fact.

This is rightfully a cause of great concern to all United Nations staff. I am working with the Department of Safety and Security and with Member States to ensure that you have the safest conditions possible in which to live and to carry out your important work.

UN staff are on the ground throughout the world not to benefit one group or another, but to strive for global peace and security, for human rights and for development, for all the world's people. We are there to realize the great ideals found in the UN Charter.

The men and women whose loss we mourn today embodied those ideals. We remember them with pride.

Thank you very much.