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World Humanitarian Day 2018


United Nations family and humanitarian partners in Geneva marking the World Humanitarian Day on 16 August 2018

Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room (Room XX)
4.00 pm

19 August 2018 marks 15 years since the terrorist attack on the United Nations Office in Baghdad, in which 22 of our colleagues died and hundreds were injured. This horrible act reflected the increasingly violent attacks against the UN and other organizations, taking the lives of hundreds of humanitarian workers and other colleagues. This unacceptable trend was further exacerbated by the attack against the United Nations Office in Algiers on 11 December 2007 and other heinous violent acts in various parts of the world.

In the context of the World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) organized a special commemorative ceremony to remember those who lost their lives in the service of peace in Baghdad, Algiers and elsewhere. We paid tribute to the fortitude of the survivors and families of the victims, and pledged to carry forward the memory of our fallen colleagues through our work.
The observance concluded with a reception generously offered by OCHA.

Click here for the programme.

You can watch the commemoration here.

Click to read the speeches delivered by :

- Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva;

- Mr. Kahtan Al-Orfali, father of Mr. Omar Kahtan Mohamed Al-Orfali, victim of the 19 August 2003 terrorist attack against the United Nations Mission in Baghdad ;

- Mr. Mattia-Selim Kanaan, son of Mr. Jean-Selim Kanaan, victim of the 19 August 2003 terrorist attack against the United Nations Mission in Baghdad;

- Ms. Carole Ray, survivor of the 19 August 2003 terrorist attack against the United Nations Mission in Baghdad;

- Mr. Adrien Vieira de Mello, son of Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, victim of the 19 August 2003 terrorist attack against the United Nations Mission in Baghdad;

- Ms. Susanne Olejas, widow of Mr. Steven Olejas, victim of the 11 December 2007 terrorist attack against the United Nations Mission in Algiers;

- Mr. Mohamed Chiraz Baly, UN Staff Coordinating Council;

- Ms. Alice Walpole, Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI); and

- Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, during the wreath laying ceremony outside Room XX.

Click for the following videos:

- Video message from Mr. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General;

- Short video produced by the United Nations in 2003;

Written statements were also delivered by :

- the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.