(Delivered before the opening of the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women)
As you walked into the United Nations today, you saw our flags flying at half-mast. This is indeed a sad day for many around the world, and for the UN in particular.
Yesterday’s terrible air crash in Ethiopia took the lives of all those on board -- including at least 21 of our UN colleagues, according to the latest information, not to mention an undetermined number of people that have been working closely with the UN.
A global tragedy has hit close to home — and the United Nations is united in grief.
I extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims, to the government and people of Ethiopia, and all those affected by this disaster.
We are working closely with government officials on the ground -- and mobilizing assistance, counseling and any other needed support during this difficult time.
Our colleagues were women and men —junior professionals and seasoned officials — hailing from all corners of the globe and with a wide array of expertise.
They all had one thing in common — a spirit to serve the people of the world and to make it a better place for us all.
It is the same spirit that calls us to the UN every day — and that brings you to this General Assembly Hall today.
As we open this important gathering, let us honour the memories of our colleagues by keeping their spirit of service alive.