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Decisive steps to protect UN offices: Ban

world Updated: Sep 02, 2008 13:11 IST

Admitting that "we cannot eliminate risk" altogether the Ban said, "I am determined to do all to protect the staff world wide."

Ban was in Geneva, on Monday, to meet the families of the victims and survivors of the deadly 2003 terrorist attack on the world body's headquarters in Iraq which left 22 dead, including the top UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and more then 150 injured.

"I am determined to do all we can to prevent such tragedies from happening again," Ban said at a ceremony to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the bombing.

Following last December's bombing of the UN offices in Algiers, which killed 17 staff, the Organisation commissioned the Independent Panel on Safety and Security to do a worldwide review of UN security. Ban vowed to act on its recommendations.

"Rest assured that I have moved decisively to ensure that we take every possible measure to protect our staff around the world," he said.

At the same time, he emphasized the need to address the root of the problem.

"Too many people in the world do not understand what the UN does, or its role as an impartial friend to all. This remains one of our most significant strategic communications challenges," he stated.

Yesterday's ceremony follows a commemoration held in New York on August 19, at which Ban paid tribute to some of the organization's "best and bravest" who gave their lives five years ago.

"No words can do justice to what they gave us. No acts can right the injustice of their deaths," the Secretary-General told those gathered in Geneva, adding that the only way to honour their legacy is to ensure that the UN continues to help the Iraqi people while protecting its staff.

There and everywhere.

He pointed out that the UN's work in Iraq continues on many fronts, including helping seek a compromise on the impasse in Parliament and addressing the sensitive issue of internal bounda around the world fron terror attacks, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that "decisive steps" were under way to beef-up security in offices world over.

Admitting that "we cannot eliminate risk" altogether the Ban said, "I am determined to do all to protect the staff world wide."

Ban was in Geneva, yesterday, to meet the families of the victims and survivors of the deadly 2003 terrorist attack on the world body's headquarters in Iraq which left 22 dead, including the top UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and more then 150 injured.

"I am determined to do all we can to prevent such tragedies from happening again," Ban said at a ceremony to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the bombing.

Following last December's bombing of the UN offices in Algiers, which killed 17 staff, the Organisation commissioned the Independent Panel on Safety and Security to do a worldwide review of UN security. Ban vowed to act on its recommendations.

"Rest assured that I have moved decisively to ensure that we take every possible measure to protect our staff around the world," he said.

At the same time, he emphasized the need to address the root of the problem.

"Too many people in the world do not understand what the UN does, or its role as an impartial friend to all. This remains one of our most significant strategic communications challenges," he stated.

On Monday's ceremony follows a commemoration held in New York on August 19, at which Ban paid tribute to some of the organization's "best and bravest" who gave their lives five years ago.

"No words can do justice to what they gave us. No acts can right the injustice of their deaths," the Secretary-General told those gathered in Geneva, adding that the only way to honour their legacy is to ensure that the UN continues to help the Iraqi people while protecting its staff.

There and everywhere.

He pointed out that the UN's work in Iraq continues on many fronts, including helping seek a compromise on the impasse in Parliament and addressing the sensitive issue of internal bounda.