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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 28 January 2010 - Secretary-General's message to Memorial Service for MINUSTAH Staff [delivered by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Edmond Mulet]

I know there is little I can say to give you comfort on this sad day.

The United Nations was born in suffering.

You have seen the people of Haiti bear far, far more than their fair share of life's injustice.

And you are suffering with them.

We have lost so many colleagues, so many dear friends. We have lost children, husbands, wives and fiancées.

Even now, we have yet to find them all.

You have shown extraordinary courage and dedication in the face of such tragedy.

You, yourselves, lost loved ones. Yet your thoughts were with those who could yet be saved.

In the face of such terrible adversity, you showed your humanity and your strength.

Being with you last week was humbling.

Returning with the bodies of Hédi Annabi and Luiz Carlos da Costa was one of the saddest moments of my life...yet also one of the most privileged.

I told you how proud I was...of you and our UN.

And I meant it, with a full heart.

I am sorry not to be with you today.

Soon, when we have recovered all our dead, we will read the honour roll of their names, one by one, at a Memorial like this in New York.

Please know this: your efforts are the most sincere and eloquent memorial to those who gave their lives for this mission.

To you, I say: we are with you in spirit.

To those no longer with us, I say: we will never forget you.


Statements on 28 January 2010