The UN paid tribute to the memory of 188 employees who died last year.

В ООН почтили память погибших в прошлом году 188 сотрудников

A memorial ceremony for fallen staff members is held annually at UN headquarters. The UN paid tribute to the memory of 188 employees who died last year. UN

Today at the UN headquarters they paid tribute to the organization’s employees who died in the past year. “Today we remember and honor the 188 United Nations staff who died in the line of duty in 2023. Among them are 135 women and men who worked for the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza,” said UN chief Antonio Guterres.

“This is the highest number of our personnel killed in a single conflict or natural disaster since the creation of the United Nations, a reality we will never be able to accept,” the Secretary General added. 

He also said that the UN has sought the consent of family members for the names of their deceased loved ones to be heard during today’s ceremony. “Unfortunately, we were unable to contact many family members of our UNRWA colleagues because they were either killed or forced to leave their homes as a result of Israeli military operations,” he explained. 

Among the UN staff who left in 2023 were teachers, drivers, doctors, pharmacists, sanitation workers, security guards, and administrative assistants. 

“These were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives. They were our colleagues and friends,” Guterres said. 

“I am devastated that despite our best efforts, we were unable to protect our staff in the Gaza Strip. Today we remember them and honor their dedication and service,” he added.

He also said that the United Nations staff who died in 2023 were from 37 countries and 18 different UN entities. Among them were both civilian personnel and military and police officers. 

“They were the embodiment of united nations. This was a multilateral approach in action,” said the Secretary General. 

In today’s divided world, the values ​​of the UN are more important than ever, Guterres emphasized: “Conflicts are spreading, countries are singling out More and more resources are being put into arms, and we advocate peace through diplomacy and dialogue; As hatred and discrimination grow, we stand up for the human rights and dignity of every person; and when the majority of the world’s people are experiencing economic turmoil, we stand for inclusive, sustainable development.”

Those who serve these ideals and values ​​under the UN flag have the right to protection , noted the head of the UN. 

“We thank all our fallen colleagues for their service. We will provide support to their family members; we will continually review and improve our safety standards; and we will preserve their memory,” he concluded.

Participants in the ceremony honored the memory of the fallen employees with a minute of silence. p>Read also:

The head of UNRWA called on the Security Council to support the agency amid “seismic changes” in the Middle East


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