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Algiers Attacks Will Not Deter UN From Vital Work


Algiers attacks will not deter UN from its vital work, vows Ban Ki-moon

Calling the terrorist bombing against the United Nations premises in Algiers "an attack on us all and our highest ideals," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today vowed not to let the tragedy deter the world body from carrying out its mission to help those most in need.

"This was a despicable strike against individuals serving humanity's highest ideals under the UN banner," Mr. Ban told the General Assembly via satellite from Bali, Indonesia, where he is attending the UN Climate Change Conference. "We must all condemn this deed, just as we must work, together, to bring its vile perpetrators to justice."

Mr. Ban said the UN is still counting the dead, tending to the wounded, and looking for the missing after a car bomb exploded near the world body's offices in the Algerian capital. Another car bomb detonated near the country's Constitutional Court.

The Secretary-General said he spoke to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika this evening to express his condolences, as well as to ask the President to take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the UN personnel.

Immediately following the attacks, Mr. Ban dispatched several of his top aides to Algiers, including the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Kemal Dervis, to determine how best to aid those injured in the attack and their families.

"The security and welfare of UN staff is paramount," Mr. Ban stressed. "We will take every measure to ensure their safety, in Algeria and elsewhere, beginning with an immediate review of our security precautions and policies."

Mr. Ban noted that the UN has taken many measures since the 2003 bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad to enhance the security of its staff and premises around the world.

"Meanwhile, our brave men and women continue their difficult and dangerous work," he said. "Our mission has been, and will always be, to help those most in need. The Baghdad attack will not deter us. Neither will this most recent attack. Our colleagues in Algiers would ask no less."

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