United Nations, Aug 19 (IANS) The UN has commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 2003 suicide bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad which killed 22 personnel of the world body, including the UN Special Representative in Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello.
At a brief ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday, Atul Khare, the UN Undersecretary-General for the Department of Operational Support, laid a wreath in front of a plaque for the 2003 bombing, reports Xinhua news agency.
The bombing took place on August 19, 2003, in the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, which was used by the UN as its headquarters in Iraq.
Besides killing 22 people, the bombing also injured more than 100 others.
The UN General Assembly in 2008 designated the date of the Baghdad bombing as World Humanitarian Day.
In a video message for World Humanitarian Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the tragedy 20 years ago marked a change in the way humanitarians operate.
Today, although humanitarians are respected around the world, they may also be targeted by those who would do them harm, he said.
"On this World Humanitarian Day, we salute the courage and dedication of humanitarian aid workers everywhere. We reaffirm our full support for their determined and life-saving efforts across the world. We celebrate their unwavering dedication to serve all people in need -- no matter who, no matter where, no matter what," Guterres said.
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