"On this International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff, I urge intensified efforts to bring all perpetrators of such heinous crimes to justice, and to end impunity."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Alec Collett (© UN Photo / Milton Grant)
As of 15 March 2015, 33 UN and associated personnel were detained by State authorities in 15 countries. One staff member is missing and two contractors remain in the custody of abductors.
The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is marked each year on the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett, a former journalist who was working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) when he was abducted by armed gunman in 1985. His body was finally found in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley in 2009.
The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members has taken on even greater importance in recent years, as attacks against the United Nations intensify. This is a day to mobilize action, demand justice and strengthen our resolve to protect UN staff and peacekeepers, as well as our colleagues in the non-governmental community and the press.