Message on the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members
25 March 2018
The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members reminds us of the perils United Nations personnel often face while serving the peoples of the world.
Today, 29 United Nations civilian personnel are in detention. Eight are being held without known or clear charges or without the Organization being given any reasons for their arrests. We will continue to monitor these cases and pursue the release of our colleagues.
I call on all countries to support the 1994 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel as well as the 2005 Optional Protocol to the Convention, which extends protection to personnel delivering humanitarian, political or development assistance.
Only 92 States are party to the 1994 Convention and only 32 are party to the Protocol. I urge all countries that have not joined these instruments to promptly do so. Whether in their countries of origin or far from their families and homes, United Nations personnel work tirelessly to help the world’s most vulnerable. The safety they need to carry out this vital mission should be our priority.
On this International Day, let us strengthen our resolve and our means to protect United Nations staff as they work tirelessly for peace, sustainable development and human rights for all.