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Around the world, UN staffers mark 11 September with solemn ceremonies

Around the world, UN staffers mark 11 September with solemn ceremonies

United Nations staff members around the world today marked the anniversary of last year's terrorist attacks against the United States with tributes to the memory of those who perished.

In Kabul, UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told a government-sponsored ceremony that Afghanistan was one of the countries most directly affected by the events that took place a year ago. "May this remembrance here, and others which are happening around the world today, be the inspiration for the people of Afghanistan and the international community to recommit themselves to the task, though long and difficult, of bringing about the political and physical reconstruction of Afghanistan and the well-being of the Afghan people," he said.

The spokesman also read out Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message marking the occasion, which stresses that the memory of those who died nearly a year ago in the terrorist attacks should serve to inspire a better, more just and more peaceful world.

Africa's commemorations included a ceremony in Kinshasa which was attended by the Secretary-General's Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Amos Namanga Ngongi, as well as Deputy Special Representative Lena Sundh. That memorial service at the Cathedrale du Centenaire also drew the participation of government officials and representatives of UN agencies and the diplomatic corps.

At a US-sponsored ceremony in Pristina, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Kosovo, Michael Steiner, paid tribute to the memory of "the thousands of women and men who were victims of hateful intolerance in New York and Washington." He said the living must honour the dead through action, adding that for those working in the province, "that means redoubling our commitment to make Kosovo a place where all its people can live in dignity and security."

And in Switzerland, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, the Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, issued his own statement calling on all to remember and honour "the courage and dignity of the thousands who lost their lives, the fortitude of their bereaved families, and the bravery of the countless workers engaged in the rescue and recovery work." Terrorism, he said, "constitutes a serious and immediate threat to international peace and security and everything that we as a human family believe in, and the UN will continue to take a lead in combating it in all its forms."