|U.N. UNIFIED IN SORROW AND DETERMINATION. WE WILL NOT BE
INTIMIDATED. U.N. MISSION GOES ON.
1 September 2003
The murderous terrorist attack on U.N. headquarters in Baghdad was unprecedented. That was the
first assault on the U.N. Flag in history. Before, there were individual deaths of envoys or
threats against certain offices. This time, the immunity of the international organization -- its
main trademark -- was violated -- brutally. People whose only aim is to help were killed. An
organization who main objective is peace and development received a severe blow. Yet if the
purpose was to intimidate, the response was swift and clear. We will not be intimidated. The
mission continues. If one purpose was to try and divide members of the Security Council who
differed about the war, the answer was loud and clear. A unified council met immediately and
condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist perpetrations. U.N. staff felt the strength of
their bond as they hugged and exchanged consolation. The greater the challenge, the stronger the
determination. Those barbaric terrorists have now declared war against the world and the world
should respond with continued unity and determination. We are all now in an emotional state of
sorrow and sense of loss. There is nothing wrong with that. Let these emotions flow into a channel
of action. Let action be in the right direction and for the right course. Let human dignity and
the value of life prevail over a culture of hatred and destruction. Let us remember that our
colleague and friend Sergio Vieira de Mello was also the High Commissioner for Human Rights,
inscribed in a Universal Declaration. They include the right to live free from intimidation,
freedom of expression, and freedom of cultural diversity. He died trying to fulfill his mission.
We should honour him by effectively upholding these principles -- and not only in Iraq.