UN honours staff members who died in Gaza

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The United Nations flag flies at half-mast at the Organization's headquarters in New York, in memory of fallen colleagues who lost their lives in the conflict in Gaza. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The United Nations flag flew at half-mast on Thursday to honour the eleven staff members and contractors of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) who died in Gaza over the past month.

A moment of silence was observed on the grounds of the UN headquarters in New York.  In his remarks to the General Assembly's informal meeting on Wednesday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the UN flag must be respected and assure protection to those in need.

"Attacks against UN premises, along with other suspected breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated. Here, before the General Assembly, I want to convey a personal and direct message to the many UN colleagues serving the people of Gaza under these gruelling circumstances. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for saving lives. I join you in mourning our fallen colleagues – and pay them my highest tribute” (30")

Similar ceremonies were held  in other UN premises including in Geneva, Vienna and Beirut.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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