Port Au Prince, Haiti, 13 October 2009 - Secretary-General's message in honour of the Victims of Flight UNO-146 [read by Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Hedi Annabi]On behalf of the entire United Nations system, I extend my deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the peacekeepers whose lives we honour and whose service we will forever cherish.
Words provide little comfort, but their deeds speak eloquently. I have seen with my own eyes the remarkable progress that Haiti has made thanks to the efforts of our peacekeepers.
Those we remember today were patrolling from the skies, but they could see something farther on the horizon: a brighter and more hopeful future for all the people of Haiti.
They were the proud sons of Jordan and Uruguay. But we can also claim them as our own. They ventured far from home to serve the shared values that bind us together as a human family.
They were here in Haiti protecting the country's borders. They were here providing relief to the victims of last year's terrible storms and hurricanes. They were here helping the people of Haiti fulfill the enormous promise of their proud nation.
This tragedy reminds us that even where there is no open conflict, peacekeeping is fraught with unforeseeable risks.
We must honour their memory by striving to maintain the highest standards of safety and security, even as we understand that tragedy can strike despite our best precautions.
To the Governments of Uruguay and Jordan, I thank you for your commitment to the enduring values and mission of the United Nations.
To the men and women of MINUSTAH who forge ahead in this hour of grief, we stand with you and offer our profound gratitude for your service and commitment.
Dag Hammarskjold, the former UN Secretary-General and founding father of UN Peacekeeping, once said:
“We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours.”
These eleven brave men put everything into a painting a picture of a rising Haiti, more secure, more hopeful, more strong.
Together, let us resolve to complete that picture in their name.
Statements on 13 October 2009
- Seoul, Republic of Korea, 13 October 2009 - Secretary-General's message to the World Knowledge Froum-13-15 October [delivered by Mr. Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, on 13 October]
- Islamabad, Pakistan, 13 October 2009 - Secretary-General's message to Memorial Ceremony in honour of UN staff killed and injured in the bombing of the World Food Programme Office in Islamabad