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Life Of UN Envoy Alioune Blondin Beye Celebrated

Life of UN envoy Alioune Blondin Beye celebrated on anniversary of his death

26 June 2008 - World leaders, diplomats, senior United Nations officials, former colleagues, relatives and friends of Alioune Blondin Beye have gathered in New York to remember the life of the UN envoy killed 10 years ago today as he worked to advance the peace process in Angola.

An hour-long memorial was held at UN Headquarters this morning to celebrate Maitre Beye, who was killed in a plane crash in Côte d'Ivoire - along with seven other people - while serving as the Secretary-General's Special Representative for the Angolan peace process.

Maitre Beye, a former Malian foreign minister and secretary-general of the African Development Bank, died while making one of his frequent missions in the region to build support for an end to the civil war that had engulfed Angola for decades and killed half a million people.

On Tuesday, UN spokesperson Michele Montas said Maitre Beye's life "was the ultimate symbol of selflessness and dedication to the common humanity of all people... [he] touched the lives of all those who knew him, and was beloved by millions of Malians, Angolans and other peoples of Africa and beyond for his selfless dedication to peace, justice, human rights and national reconciliation."

Today's memorial, which included speeches, a poem and a remembrance song, was organized by the permanent missions of Mali and Angola, the International Crisis Group and the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).

ENDS

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