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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.