On 19 August 2003, the headquarters of the United Nations in Baghdad suffered one of the most tragic incidents in the organization's history. A car bomb exploded near the Canal Hotel, killing 22 people. Among them, Brazilian Sérgio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and an international symbol of humanitarian aid.
Ten years on, in homage to the work of Vieira de Mello and all others who lost their lives that day, ICRC Director of Operations Pierre Krähenbühl recalls a meeting he had with the Brazilian a few weeks before the Baghdad attack, and his shock at hearing of Vieira de Mello's death and the huge number of other victims. According to Krähenbühl, the best way to honour the memory of Vieira de Mello is to maintain our individual and organizational commitment to bringing humanitarian aid in today's contexts.
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