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'We must persevere,' Annan tells Geneva staff

'We must persevere,' Annan tells Geneva staff in first visit since Baghdad bombing

In his first opportunity to speak with United Nations staff in Geneva since the 19 August bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today offered words of comfort and exhorted them to continue their work.

"This is a time of sorrow about what has just happened, and uncertainty about what may be ahead. We are all wrestling with a mix of grief, anger and apprehension," he told the staff at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Mr. Annan added that he hoped the staff would take some comfort from the outpouring of support for the United Nations that has been heard around the world since the bombing. "We must continue building up where others would seek to tear down," the Secretary-General asserted. "We must persevere."

One staff member thanked the Secretary-General for providing strength and comfort at this time, and he responded that the staff had given him strength, by taking a hard knock and carrying on.

His appointments today also included a meeting with Jakob Kellenberger, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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