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With minute of silence, UN staff worldwide honour victims of Algiers attacks

With minute of silence, UN staff worldwide honour victims of Algiers attacks

UN Staff member signs condolence book
United Nations staff around the world joined together today to observe a minute of silence to honour the victims of the 11 December terrorist attacks in Algiers which claimed the lives of 17 of their colleagues.

Last Friday, the UN confirmed that staff members from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), International Labour Organization (ILO), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the Department of Safety and Security were among those killed when a car bomb exploded near UN offices in the Algerian capital. A second car bomb detonated near a Government building.

The bombings sparked widespread outrage, including from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who condemned the attacks in the strongest terms and dispatched his top aides to Algiers to visit the injured and the families of those who died.

“The Algiers attack will never deter us in our vital work around the world, regardless of threats to our staff,” Mr. Ban said today in Paris, where he attended a donors meeting for the Palestinian Authority that began with a minute of silence for all those who died in Algiers. “Our communal efforts to help those who suffer [and] to help peace must be redoubled.”

The Secretary-General added that terrorism in never justifiable and those who target innocent civilians in this way commit a terrible crime. “It hurts all nations – large and small, rich and poor – and takes it toll on all human beings of every age and income, culture and religion.”

In addition to staff throughout the UN system, the Security Council also observed a minute of silence in honour of those who died in Algiers.