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UN Security Chief Steps Down Over Terrorist Attack

UN security chief steps down over last year's Algiers terrorist attack

24 June 2008 - The head of United Nations security has resigned, saying he will shoulder full responsibility for any security lapse that may have occurred concerning the deadly terrorist attack against UN facilities in Algiers last December.

Sir David Veness, Under-Secretary-General for Security and Safety, informed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a meeting yesterday that, as the head of the Department of Safety and Security, he had voluntarily offered to resign in light of his responsibility.

"I am grateful to Sir David Veness for his high sense of devotion to duty and strong professional motivation," Mr. Ban said in a statement issued today.

"As the first head of the Department, he has provided it strong leadership at a critical period in building a safety and security structure for the United Nations that has significantly improved its security management system in a whole range of areas."

Mr. Ban added that this had been recognized by the Independent Panel tasked with assessing the safety and security of UN staff worldwide, which had handed its report to the Secretary-General earlier this year.

"While accepting his decision to resign, in the interest of continuity, I have asked him to stay on until such time as a stable succession can be assured. I am aware that this will require some time."

Seventeen UN staff were among several dozen people who died after two car bombs exploded in the Algerian capital within minutes of each other on the morning of 11 December last year. One of the bombs exploded outside the main UN offices.


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