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UN Radio: Annan Vows to Continue UN Work in Iraq

UN Radio: Annan Vows to Continue UN Work in Iraq

  • Annan Vows to Continue UN Work in Iraq

    United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the work of the UN in Iraq will continue in spite of the devastating attack on the headquarters in Baghdad. Mr. Annan says security would be reassessed but the UN would not be deterred by a senseless and brutal act of violence.

    "We should not be distracted nor deterred by this senseless and brutal act of violence. Those who killed our colleagues have committed a crime - a crime not only against the United Nations, but against Iraq itself."

    The Secretary-General is due back in New York today and will meet with the UN Security Council later this afternoon. At least 20 people were killed in the blast. Rescue workers are still sifting through the rubble hoping to find more survivors.

    Sixteen Bodies So Far Recovered from Rubble in Baghdad

    The latest figures from Baghdad show that 16 bodies have been recovered from the rubble and so far only seven have been identified. As of now, 20 wounded staff members have arrived in Amman, Jordan.

    Staff Members Still Missing in Baghdad: UN Spokesman

    Meanwhile, a United Nations spokesman confirmed Wednesday that staff members are still missing. Spokesman Fred Eckhard, responding to reporters' questions, said the UN is in the process of reconstructing a specific list of every UN person who was in Baghdad on Tuesday.

    "Although we don't have a final list of names, we do know there are people missing and we are assuming there are still people buried in the rubble."

    The spokesman says the wounded were evacuated to a number of military clinics and local hospitals and through the night the UN visited those facilities taking the names of the UN staff who were there.

    WHO Condemns Terrorist Bombing of UN Headquarters

    United Nations staff around the world have been reacting to Tuesday's terrorist attack. The UN health agency (WHO) condemned the bombing and the killing and injuring of many staff members. According to the spokesperson for the World Health Organization, Christine McNab, the Director-General Dr Lee Jong-wook, said the outrageous act of violence is aimed directly at those who are trying to help the people of Iraq rebuild their damaged country. "WHO and UN colleagues from countries around the world are completely committed to helping restore basic services and rebuild the health system in Iraq and it's very important that that work continues."

    UNHCR Will Continue Working in Iraq

    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR), said it was shocked and saddened by the act of terrorism. High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers said that "all too often, it is the best people who are sent to the most challenging places." Spokesman Kris Janowski described the attack as "a senseless act of violence."

    "Denouncing the attack, at the same time, we are saying that UNHCR will continue to work in Iraq and we simply refuse to be intimidated by the attack since there are still a good number of people in Iraq, outside Iraq for that matter, who may want to return to their homes who would need our help."

    UN Offices Hold Events To Honour Fallen Colleagues

    Meanwhile, the UN office in Nairobi, Kenya held an event to show solidarity with colleagues in Baghdad. That event was attended by some 600 staff. More events are being planned including a ceremony on Friday by the UN mission in Timor Leste which the late special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello helped guide to independence last year. The UN flag flies at half-mast over UN compounds all over the world.

    Annan Condemns Suicide Bombing In Jerusalem

    iSecretary-General Kofi Annan has strongly condemned Tuesday's suicide bombing by a Palestinian militant group in Jerusalem which killed 20 Israelis and injured dozens more. In a statement, the Secretary-General noted that Tuesday was a "tragic day for the UN family as well" and it shares the grief for all victims. UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard.

    "The Secretary-General has made clear repeatedly that terrorist attacks are totally reprehensible and he urged Palestinian Prime Minister Mabud Abbas to take decisive action to arrest the instigators of this attack and prevent such attacks from happening again."

    The Secretary-General also called on Israel to act with restraint in the face of this provocation and not contribute to a renewed cycle of violence and revenge.

    UN Official Urges Courage and Determination by Israelis/Palestinians

    A senior United Nations official has said that Israelis and Palestinians need courage and determination to stay the course to peace. Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Danilo Turk while briefing the UN Security Council on developments in the Middle East over the past month, urged both parties not to allow themselves to fall back into the senseless cycle of violence and revenge.

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