Minister Expresses Shock at Attack on UN Special Representative to Iraq
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, T.D. expressed shock at the attack today on the UN headquarters in Baghdad. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, was seriously injured and many UN employees and others were killed or injured. The Minister expressed his sympathy to the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, and the family of Mr. de Mello and offered his condolences to families of those killed in the attack.
The Minister recalled that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) was present in Iraq to assist the Iraqi people and to speed the transition to a democratic and representative Iraqi government.
The Minister said “Attacks on the representatives of the United Nations are assaults on the entire international community and can neither be tolerated nor justified in any way.” He continued “This attack is clearly a blow to the efforts of the United Nations in Iraq, but the UN must not be deterred from its crucial humanitarian tasks in that country. Ireland has always been a staunch supporter of the humanitarian work of the United Nations and will continue to support its programmes in Iraq.”
So far this year Ireland has allocated over €5million for relief and humanitarian work in Iraq.
[The text of a letter from An Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D., to UNSG Kofi Annan, is available at www.taoiseach.gov.ie/index]