Message by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the 15th Anniversary of the Terrorist Attack Against the United Nations Mission in Iraq
19 August 2018
Fifteen years ago, the United Nations suffered one of the darkest days in our history.
On 19 August 2003, a terrorist attack against our headquarters at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad killed 22 people and wounded many more.
We remember our cherished colleagues who lost their lives in the service of peace, development and human rights.
Among them was our representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
I met Sergio many times, and as Prime Minister of Portugal, I followed closely his remarkable work in Timor-Leste. I was always impressed by the way he embodied United Nations values and our spirit of service.
Today, we pay tribute to all those who died so tragically 15 years ago.
We honour their sacrifice. We will continue their mission. And we will carry forward their memory as we strive to resolve and prevent armed conflict and build a prosperous and peaceful world for all.