In Memoriam - Algiers (2007)
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's letter to staff
on fallen colleagues
in Algiers (Bali, 11 December 2007)
Dear colleagues, Dear friends,
Today is a dark day for the United Nations family. We have lost irreplaceable colleagues in the bomb attack on the UN offices in Algiers -- an attack not only against the United Nations, but against humankind itself. Our colleagues there were working with no other mission than to support the people of Algeria in building a better future. Words cannot begin to express my sense of grief and outrage.
We do not yet have an accurate count of the casualties. Our first priority now is to care for those injured, while seeking to obtain as much information as we can on those unaccounted for. I have asked senior advisers from my Executive Office, UNDP and the Department of Safety and Security to proceed to Algiers immediately. We will take every measure to ensure the safety of our staff, in Algeria and elsewhere, beginning with an immediate review of our security precautions and policies.
Those who target innocent civilians in this way commit an unspeakable crime. Terrorism is never justifiable, on any grounds, as all 192 UN Member States agreed last year when they came together to adopt the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It hurts all nations -- large and small, rich and poor. It takes its toll on human beings of every age and income, culture and religion.
The flags at UN headquarters and at UN duty stations around the world will be flown at half mast through Wednesday, as our thoughts and prayers go to the loved ones of those who perished in Algiers, to those who are wounded, and to those who grapple with trauma. Today, and every day, let us honour them by redoubling our efforts for peace and security, development and human rights around the world. Only by carrying on that mission can we begin to do justice to the memory of the friends we have lost.