U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon vowed Wednesday that the tragedy occurring in Algiers will not deter the United Nations from carrying out its mission to help those most in need.
Addressing the General Assembly, Ban express his shock and outrage at Tuesday's attack on the U.N. offices in Algiers, calling the terrorist bombing against the U.N. premises "an attack on us all and our highest ideals."
"This was a despicable strike against individuals serving humanity's highest ideals under the U.N. banner," Ban told all the192 member states via satellite from Bali, Indonesia, where he is attending the U.N. Climate Change Conference. "We must all condemn this deed, just as we must work, together, to bring its vile perpetrators to justice."
He said the Organization is still counting the dead, tending to the wounded, and looking for the missing after a car bomb exploded near the world bodies offices in the Algerian capital.
The Secretary-General said he spoke to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika hours ago to express his condolences, as well as to ask the President to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the U.N. personnel.
Immediately following the attacks, Ban dispatched several of his top aides to Algiers, including the head of the U.N. Development Program, Kemal Dervis, to determine how best to aid those injured in the attack and their families.
He reiterated that "the security and welfare of U.N. staff is paramount," adding "we will take every measure to ensure their safety, in Algeria and elsewhere, beginning with an immediate review of our security precautions and policies."
Ban noted that the United Nations has taken many measures since the 2003 bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad to enhance the security of its staff and premises around the world.
"Meanwhile, our brave men and women continue their difficult and dangerous work," he said. "Our mission has been, and will always be, to help those most in need. The Baghdad attack will not deter us. Neither will this most recent attack. Our colleagues in Algiers would ask no less."
The General Assembly also paid a moment of silence in honor of those who died and were injured in the attack. Meanwhile, the flags at the U.N. Headquarters in New York and at duty stations around the world is flown at half mast through Wednesday.