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Slain BBC Journalists Honoured At London Memorial

Secretary-General honours slain BBC journalists at new memorial in London

16 June 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute today to the work of journalists in upholding the freedom of the press at the unveiling of a memorial in London to media professionals killed in the line of work.

A glass and steel sculpture entitled "Breathing," which will project a beam of light up to one kilometre into the sky for 30 minutes each evening, has been officially dedicated on top of the new wing of the BBC Broadcasting House in the British capital.

Attending the unveiling, Mr. Ban said it serves as "a solemn reminder of those who have lost their lives giving voice to the voiceless.

"It is the light that shines when journalists report stories which powerful interests are trying to cover up. It is a beacon of hope for millions of people who thirst for the truth. And it is the light of justice that courageous journalists fight for - and that we must obtain in cases where they have been killed."

The UN chief called for renewed international efforts to "end the culture of impunity surrounding crimes against reporters" and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.

Mr. Ban also spoke today at the sixtieth anniversary of the International Maritime Organization, praising the London-based agency for its efforts to curb pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

While in London Mr. Ban has met with many officials, including Defence Secretary Des Browne and opposition leader David Cameron.

ENDS

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