Press Releases

    UNIS/VIC/120
    19 August 2004

    United Nations in Vienna Observes First Anniversary of UN Baghdad Tragedy

    VIENNA, 19 August (UN Information Service) -- A ceremony to commemorate the first anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad took place at the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) today. Simultaneous ceremonies were held in Amman, Geneva and New York.

    The United Nations lost 22 members of the UN family at the tragic bombing at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, last year. Many more were injured. In a live video-link from the commemorative ceremony in Geneva, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said: “The attack on the Canal Hotel was a unique blow for us as an organization.  It brought us face to face with danger in a new and more intimidating form -- the danger that we, servants of the United Nations, will no longer be victims simply by virtue of the times and places in which we are called to serve, but may have become in ourselves one of the main targets of political violence”.  

    In Vienna, the representative of the Director-General of UNOV, Francis Maertens, and the Permanent Representative of Brazil to UNOV, Ambassador Celso Marcos Vieira de Souza, paid tribute to the victims of the attack in a simple ceremony attended by staff members and representatives of the Vienna International Centre-based organizations. A commemorative film titled “A Tribute to the Team” was shown, followed by a minute of silence.

    * *** *