The UN has provided some detail about the 22 staffers who died in the Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet crash. The UN says its World Food Programme lost 7 staffers, while six were lost from the UN Regional Headquarters in Nairobi.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Organisation for Migration, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the Environment Programme, the International Telecommunications Union, the World Bank and the Assistance Mission in Somalia all lost staff.
It’s one of the single greatest losses for the UN in many years.
General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa says “I would like as my first order of business to convey my sincere condolences to the families and friends who perished in yesterday’s accident in Ethiopia, including many members of the UN family. I also convey my solidarity and sympathy to the governments and peoples of Ethiopia and Kenya and those nations who lost their citizens in this terrible tragedy yesterday.”
Memorials were held today in Ethiopia for some of the victims of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday. Moments of silence were held inside the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi Kenya is a popular route for staff affiliated with the global organisations, due to its regional headquarters in East Africa and various hotspots in the geographical area.
The dead include 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine each from Ethiopia and France, eight from the United States, China and Italy and seven from Britain, the identities of all the victims not yet released by the airline.
The United Nations Secretary General called it a sad day for the organisation and for many around the world.
In remarks to the opening session on Commission on the Status of Women Antonio Guterres called it a global tragedy that has hit close to home, stating the UN was united in grief.
The Security Council is also due to observe a moment of silence later Monday.
Guterres said the organisation was working closely with government officials on the ground and mobilizing assistance, counselling and any other support needed during this difficult time.
The staff members killed had worked in several UN affiliated agencies and programmes including at UN offices in Kenya and Somalia.
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