Sergio was "an idea person and a practitioner", says UN chiefListen /
Sergio Vieira de Mello, who died in the Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003, was not only a person who came up with ideas, but he made them happen.
That's what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday at the Annual Sergio Vieira de Mello Lecture in Geneva.
He said that although he never personally met the late Brazilian diplomat, like countless others, he felt he knew him and remains inspired by him.
The Secretary-General said that by the time he served as Chef de Cabinet of the General Assembly in 2001, Sergio Vieira de Mello's name was on everybody's lips.
"I was wondering who is Sergio Vieira de Mello, he must be a very distinguished person. Now later I realize that he was one of the star diplomats of the United Nations. He was known throughout the system as humanitarian coordinator, special representative, transitional administrator, and he was known by one name only, for there was only one Sergio. Sergio was an idea person and a practitioner. He did not simply speak about the need to do things. He did them."
Such was his power to motivate people that some of the United Nations best and brightest followed him, again and again, and believed in him and his ideals, Mr. Ban added.
He renewed his tribute to the Vieira de Mello family and to the families and loved ones of all the 22 United Nations staff members who perished in the Canal Hotel bombing.
Gerry Adams, United Nations.