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UN mourns loss of 21 staffers

Updated March 12, 2019

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The flag of the United Nations flies at half-mast in front of the secretariat on Monday.—AFP
The flag of the United Nations flies at half-mast in front of the secretariat on Monday.—AFP

UNITED NATIONS: Flags flew at half-staff at the United Nations on Mon­day after 21 UN staff were killed in an Ethiopian Air­lines plane crash that Sec­re­tary General Antonio Gut­erres said marked a “sad day” for the world body.

Guterres lead delegates at the opening of the annual gathering on women’s rights at the General Assembly in observing a moment of silence in honour of the victims.

“A global tragedy has hit close to home — and the United Nations is united in grief,” he said at the Commission on the Status of Women.

UN ambassadors opened a Security Council meeting on Afghanistan by standing in silence for the victims of Flight ET302, which cra­shed Sunday shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa. All 157 people onboard were killed.

Among the dead were many travelling to a UN environment conference in Nairobi.

The World Food Prog­ramme, the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration and the UN Environment agency all lost staff in the crash.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2019