Minute of silence observed at UN to honour late Russian Ambassador

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Vitaly I. Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, speaks to journalists at UNHQ, in December 2016. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Members of the UN General Assembly observed a minute of silence following the sudden death of the Russian Permanent Representative to the UN.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin passed away on Monday, a day before his 65th birthday, according to media reports.

The seasoned diplomat had a career spanning several decades.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Vitaly Churkin took up the post of Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN back in 2006.

Stunned by the news, Farhan Haq, the UN Deputy Spokesperson, said Ambassador Churkin has become "such a regular presence at the UN," and expressed his condolences to his family as well as the Government of Russia.

Meanwhile, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative, Petr Ilyichev had this to say.

"Ambassador Churkin worked till the last moment. He devoted all his life to defending Russia's interests, served at the fore front of diplomacy in the most difficult situation. We lost a consummate diplomat, a strong mediator, a wonderful person, a teacher. That is how we will always remember him. We appreciate your solidarity, your compassion and your support at this difficult hour."

The late Churkin also served as his country's Ambassador to Canada and Belgium.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’04”

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