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Ban Ki-moon Mourns Death Of Congressman Tom Lantos

Ban Ki-moon mourns death of Tom Lantos, 'champion of common humanity'

11 February 2008 - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today mourned the passing of United States Congressman Tom Lantos, paying tribute to the late legislator's courage as a champion of humanity.

"The Secretary-General was deeply saddened to learn of the death of his friend Tom Lantos, the veteran United States legislator, Holocaust survivor, human rights advocate and long-time supporter of the United Nations," a spokesperson for Mr. Ban said in a statement.

Mr. Ban paid tribute to the California Congressman's "exceptional courage and contribution, in the national and international arenas, as a champion of our common humanity."

He said Mr. Lantos' "immeasurable efforts in attuning the consciousness and the conscience of people to the dangers of intolerance and human rights violations will long be remembered."

Spokesperson Michele Montas added that the Secretary-General "joins Mr. Lantos' colleagues in the United States Congress, the Jewish community and the international community in giving thanks for his life."

The Secretary-General met Mr. Lantos, Chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, as recently as last June in Washington, DC, but the two shared a friendship dating back to Mr. Ban's days as foreign minister of the Republic of Korea. In that capacity, he met both Mr. Lantos and his wife, Annette, in pursuit of their shared goals of promoting human rights and tolerance.

In today's statement, Mr. Ban extended his condolences to Annette and the entire Lantos family.

ENDS

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