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Former Vatican rep urges support for UN in Iraq

The former Vatican representative at the United Nations in Geneva has called for support of this institution's work in Iraq, especially after the bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad.

"We have the duty to guarantee that the United Nations mission continues and is not abandoned," said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, recently appointed coadjutor of the Dublin Archdiocese.

Speaking to Vatican Radio, Martin stressed that UN member states must help "these little protected international civil servants, who commit themselves on our behalf" to "win the peace".

"From my point of view, I am sure that this would be the attitude of Sergio Vieira de Mello: not to abandon the UN mandate, to guarantee the protection of the civilian population, to reconstruct the nation and international legality," he said. De Mello, the special UN envoy to Iraq, was among the 23 people killed in Tuesday's attack.

"De Mello stressed on several occasions what the responsibilities belong to those who have control of the territory in Iraq: to ensure protection, not only of the civilian population, but also of international civil servants," he said.


Church diplomats remember UN envoy as champion of people (21/8/03)
Vieira De Mello, From Brazil to serve peace throughout the world (MISNA)
Franciscans International Mourns Loss of UN Human Rights Commissioner (Franciscans International)
Pope expresses sadness at bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad (Catholic News Service)
Pope calls for end to terror (
Iraq: fears grow for safety of aid workers (Independent Catholic News)
General audience of John Paul II Castelgandolfo 20/8/03
Holy See Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations

25 Aug 2003