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Security Council vows to build peace in Iraq

Condemning attack on UN, Security Council vows resolve to build peace in Iraq

Condemning the deadly terrorist bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad as "an attack against the international community as a whole," the Security Council today declared that the world body would not be intimidated by such attacks and was determined to see the Iraqi people build peace and justice in their country.

Reading a statement during an open meeting attended by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Council President Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe of Syria said the 15-nation body unequivocally condemned Tuesday's attack, which killed at least 15, including the UN's top envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and caused numerous injuries among international personnel and Iraqi people. The Council also condemned in the strongest terms the perpetrators of the attack and underlined the need to bring them to justice.

Expressing its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families, the Council paid tribute and expressed its deepest admiration to all the UN personnel who lost their lives or were injured in the service of the Organization and the Iraqi people, including Mr. Vieira de Mello.

While reaffirming the imperative to respect, in all circumstances, the safety and security of United Nations personnel, Ambassador Wehbe said the Council also reaffirmed its determination to assist the Iraqi people in building peace and justice in their country and determining their own political future. It welcomed the determination of the United Nations to continue its operation in Iraq to fulfil its mandate in the service of the Iraqi people, stating that it would not be intimidated by such attacks.

The Council observed a minute of silence at the start of the meeting in tribute to the memory of the UN personnel and all others who were killed in Baghdad in the pursuit of peace and recovery for Iraq.

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