Immediate action needed to secure freedom and rights of UN personnelListen /
There needs to be immediate action to secure the freedom and rights of United Nations and humanitarian personnel who are unlawfully detained and arrested.
That's the message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members.
Mr. Ban says the world has become increasingly more dangerous for United Nations personnel.
Mr. Ban also recalls that as of the 21st of March, 56 United Nations staff members remained in detention.
He urges all concerned to do everything possible to secure their immediate release.
Mr. Ban also says he is "especially worried about brave individuals working in Syria."
According to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), 22 staff members were detained or presumed detained as of mid-March, while three additional staff members were missing.
This International Day of Solidarity, marked each year on the 25th of March, is the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Colett, a former journalist who was working for UNRWA when he was abducted by armed gunmen in 1985. His body was finally found in Lebanon in 2009.
Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.