UN Baghdad HQ

I try to keep my political ideas to myself here but I cannot let the day end w/o saying something about the events this morning in Iraq. Sergio Viera De Mello was killed there today, as the bomb was placed right outside his window and this is one of the saddest things I have heard about of late. He had worked in the UN system for a long, LONG time. He lead the efforts to rebuild Kosovo and East Timor. He had been recently picked to be the High Commissioner for Human Rights and reluctantly went to Iraq at Kofi Annan’s urging. Salime Lone, the spokesperson in Iraq, said he grieves for his friend and colleague but also for the good Sergio could have done for the people there.
For me personally, I only met Sergio once – several months ago when I was still at the UN but I was really impressed by him. Knowing people over in the Baghdad office, I worked with Salime’s office A LOT, doesn’t make this any greater a tragedy in the overall sense but it does feel very close. Friends and colleagues of mine knew Sergio – and others – very well and this day really is a sad one.
What gets to me the most is – and what your thoughts on the UN are in general, well maybe that can be put aside – the people at this office and who worked on the mission there really were there to do whatever they could to make life better for the Iraqi people.

Alyson, I'm so sorry for this huge loss for the whole world, but I appreciate how it hits particularly close to home for you and your UN colleagues. My dad used to do a lot of work at the UN (he was World Bank) - I do feel like I've lost family. Very sad.

Thanks, Mary. This was tough. I went into my office today and found there were some other people I didn't know were even in Iraq and had died. One woman I worked with a bit when the SG would come down is missing and I think presumed dead. Just sucks.

I'm so sorry. I can understand how sad you must feel, and like Mary said, it's a loss for the whole world. I really admire all the people on that mission for their dedication and their courage.