[Dateline: Posted: Monday, 12 October 2009, New York | Author: iSeek ]
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) held a memorial ceremony on Tuesday, 13 October, honoring the eleven peacekeepers who died in the crash of a military aircraft on Friday, 9 October. The aircraft carrying eleven crew and passengers from Uruguay and Jordan went down in the area of Fonds-Verrettes approximately 45km from Port-au-Prince, killing all on board.
The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt condolences to the family members, friends and colleagues of these brave peacekeepers who lost their lives in the service of peace. [13 October SG message] [9 October statement]
The President of the General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki was deeply saddened at the crash and sent his prayers and condolences to the families and countries of the victims. At the opening of the 12 October plenary session, he mentioned the plane crash in formal proceedings.
All the bodies were recovered from the crash site, which remains protected by the MINUSTAH police. The aircraft was on a regular reconnaissance flight.
The 5 October suicide bomb attack killing five people working for the World Food Programme (WFP) at the WFP offices in Islamabad, the 18 August suicide bombing in which two staff members of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) lost their lives and a third was injured, and the 16 July killing of a veteran UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) staff member in Pakistan in a camp for displaced people underscore the dangers that United Nations staff and workers face while doing their jobs.
The Secretary-General issued a message on 13 October to the Memorial Ceremony in honour of UN staff killed and injured in the bombing of the World Food Programme Office in Islamabad.
The Secretary-General ordered the UN flag flown at half-staff today in honour of the peacekeepers as well as the World Food Programme staff killed in Pakistan on 5 October.
In remarks launching the first World Humanitarian Day on 19 August 2009 to honour all humanitarian and United Nations and associated personnel who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty, the Secretary-General said that our "colleagues faced threats day after day so that others could feel safe."