Fifteen years ago, on August 19th 2003, Baghdad was hit by one of many vile and reckless attacks that have wounded the land of our fathers in the past years. The target of such a devastating act of violence was the United Nations Mission to Iraq Headquarter. August 19th 2003 is one of the darkest days in the history of the United Nations and of our Country. In that day a bloody wave of sheer madness and cowardice ripped apart our capital city, causing a never-ending sorrow.
In the attack brought against the United Nations, Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq, lost his life among many other people whose only fault was to be part of UN, whose only guilt was to be in Iraq with the aim to assist its people in the long and uneven path to freedom, stability and development.
It is our duty to remember those innocent people, along with all other Iraqis and foreign nationals who lost their lives due to any vile act of terrorism. It is our duty to mourn and gather around the families that they have left behind and to pay a tribute to their memory.
On this occasion, may we find the strength to be thankful for their sacrifice and in awe of their courage. Today, after fifteen years, UNAMI is still assisting our people, despite the tragic losses, as a powerful testimony to both the goodness of their intentions and the true spirit of solidarity and gratitude to the Iraqi people.
May we all bear in our minds and in our hearts each and every victim of terrorism in the world, may we all remember cherishing the hope that, one day, no more names will have to be added to the already too long list of terrorism victims.