UN UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has paid tribute to the 485 employees of the world organization who lost their lives in the line of duty last year.We come together to honor the memory of UN personnel who have lost their lives serving our organization over the past year… We are united in grief and solidarity Guterres said during the annual memorial service held virtually this year.
Over the past year Covid19 has continued to cause immeasurable suffering and death. And as we did last year today we pay tribute to our colleagues who lost their lives. as a result of malicious acts natural disasters and disease. Accordingly at this memorial service we mourn the largest number of colleagues 485 UN personnel lost in a single year said he declared.
Of the 485 dead 70 were soldiers one policeman and 414 civilians. They came from 104 nations.Often away from home without fanfare they have dedicated their careers to helping others. Not yielding to cynicism they worked to make a difference no matter how high the obstacle regardless of the distance of the reward no matter how difficult the challenge said António Guterres.
They worked to bring peace to forgotten places. They fed the hungry and sheltered those expelled from their homes. They helped protect our planet helped save lives and fought to give children a brighter future. In short they defended the vision and values of the UN.The world is in turmoil marked by conflicts threatened by crises and overwhelmed by emergencies. Humanitys only hope is to join forces and work together as an international community. The United Nations is both the instrument and the expression of this community he said.
Our colleagues lost their lives. But his spirit of helping others lives on today and every day. May his memory be a blessing and an inspiration to us all.