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Guterres ‘personally devastated’ as UN fails to protect staff in Gaza, despite best efforts

Among them were 135 women and men working for the United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), killed in Israeli military operations in Gaza since October 7. Many were killed along with their families and in the communities they served.

“That is By far the highest number of our employees have died in a conflict or natural disaster since the founding of the United Nations – a reality we can never accept,” Secretary General António Guterres speak.

He reiterated his call for “full responsibility” for the deaths.

“We owe this to our family members, their friends, our colleagues and the world. Our UNRWA staff lived and died as representatives of the international community in Gaza, and That community deserves an explanation.”

The family also went

In the Board of Directors, overlooked by the iconic statue of a girl – her arms raised, reaching towards a flying bird symbolizing “Humanity and Hope” – the names of the people has fallen was read out.

According to the organization’s regulations, the consent of family members is required to include the names of their loved ones in the service. However, for UNRWA, Only 22 families could be contacted.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to contact many family members of UNRWA colleagues. because they were killed or forced to leave their homes by Israel’s military activities,” Mr. Guterres said.

The remaining UNRWA personnel are remembered by their professional titles.

“They are teachers, drivers, doctors, janitors, security guards, pharmacists, administrative assistants and more. They are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives. They are our colleagues. They are our friends,” Mr. Guterres said.

Personally, I am disappointed that despite our best efforts, we were unable to protect our personnel in Gaza.”

United Nations memorial service for those killed in 2023

‘United States’

From 1 January to 31 December 2023, the lost UN personnel came from a total of 37 countries, working for 18 different organizations. They are military, police and civilian employees.

“They are the embodiment of united nations. They are multilateralism in action. And they made the ultimate sacrifice for that purpose”, said Mr. Guterres, emphasizing that in today’s politically divided world, the core values ​​of the United Nations are more important than ever.

“Despite our differences, we should all agree that those who serve these values ​​under the United Nations flag have the right to protection,” he concluded.


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