UNAMI Canal Hotel Bombing Commemoration 2019

Baghdad, 19 August 2019 – The United Nations family in Iraq marked the 16th anniversary of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad with a solemn ceremony and a one-minute silence to remember their fallen colleagues and honour the sacrifices of United Nations staff worldwide in the service of peace and humanity.

Twenty-two UN colleagues, including the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Sergio Vieira de Mello, were killed on 19 August 2003 in a massive truck bombing which tore apart the UN headquarters in Baghdad. More than 150 people were wounded. Also remembered at the ceremony were a staff member of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) who was abducted and killed in 2016, three colleagues from the UN Support Mission in Libya who were killed in a car bombing in Benghazi earlier this month, and victims of other bombings that targeted UN offices.
The anniversary of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad is now marked annually worldwide as World Humanitarian Day.

The Deputy Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General Alice Walpole and Husam Akobi, a survivor of the 2003 bombing and national staff representative, spoke at the event, which included laying a wreath at the memorial plaque, a minute of silence, a flag and bugler ceremony, and a hymn sung by the Fijian guard unit.

UNAMI offices in Basra, Erbil and Kirkuk also observed the day with a minute of silence and gatherings.

Video produced by UNAMI PIO/Sarmad Al-Safy.


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