UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tributes at a solemn memorial service on Wednesday to 210 men and women of the United Nations, including three Pakistani nationals, who lost their lives in the line of duty between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016.
“The staff we lost never intended to be heroes. But, in striving to do
their best for others, they came to represent the best in us all. They are the best heroes,” he told the annual Memorial Service that began five years ago to honour those who have lost their lives while serving the world body.
The fallen Pakistanis were: Ms. Shabnam Khan of the United Nations
Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Ms. Meherren Abbas of the World Food Programme (WFP) and Havilar Abdul Majeed Khan of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
“Like all of you, I have been deeply affected by the losses of friends
and colleagues on the job. In many ways, that feeling never goes away,” the secretary-general said in remarks before a distinguished gathering of diplomats, including Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, UN officials and families of the departed men and women.
“The men and women we recognize today came from all corners of the
world. They served in difficult and dangerous conditions. What drew them together,” he asked.
“Our blue flag and all it represents. There are many flags in the world.
But only one represents all of humanity equally. All countries. All faiths. All people. One flag. Others have tried to turn it into a target. But that flag remains a beacon,” he declared.
“Those who destroy may think that bombs or bullets are the most powerful force. They are wrong, simply wrong.”
Ban has attended staff memorials in many countries. Today’s was an
opportunity to speak of the solidarity that the UN represents around the world, and to reassert the Organization’s conviction that working together can heal communities and make the world a better place.
“That is what summons us to work every day,” the Secretary-General
said. “And it is that calling for which our colleagues made the ultimate sacrifice.”