UN pays homage to personnel, including 2 Indians
New York: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon paid homage to 29 UN personnel, including two Indians, who died over the past year in the line of duty, noting peacekeepers and other UN staff are increasingly working in "high risk" environments across the world.
At a memorial service held at the world body`s headquarters here on Thursday, Ban called on governments to uphold their responsibility to provide security and prosecute those who target UN staff.
"My fervent wish is that an event like this would never be necessary - that all our staff could do their job without facing risks to their lives," Ban said.
"Yet we know that United Nations peacekeepers and all personnel are increasingly exposed to high risk environments."
Between November 1, 2011 and August 31 this year, 29 men and women - civilian, military and police staff members - died across 11 duty stations around the world, representing 16 nationalities.
Their deaths were due to malicious acts, natural disasters, accidents at work and other emergencies.
While ceremonies to honour fallen UN staff are held on an individual basis, last year marked the first time that a ceremony to pay tribute to all of them was held.
"Today is yet another reminder of the dangers and vulnerabilities of those serving around the world to promote the universal goals of the United Nations Charter," Ban said.
"It is also a moment to take strength and resolve to carry forward the work for which our fallen colleagues gave everything."
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