[ACNS source: Anglican Observer to the United Nations]
20 August 2003
Dear Mr Annan,
On behalf of the Anglican Consultative Council, I am writing to express to you and the United Nations, our deepest sympathy for the loss of Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello and United Nations staff in Iraq.
We are deeply saddened and concerned that terrorists do not appreciate the sincere objectives of the United Nations to bring about peace and security to the world and especially in Iraq and the Middle East.
In a message I received from the Anglican Primate of the Middle East, the Most Revd Clive Handford he said and I quote:
“Like many other people, we were shocked at the bombing of the headquarters of the United Nations in Baghdad. The tragic loss of life causes great sadness. We would like to express our deep sympathy to the families of all those who lost their lives and to those many who were injured. Mr de Mello was a man of courage, insight and statesmanship. We give thanks for this life of service to the world. He will be greatly missed.
“The role of the United Nations in the reconstruction of Iraq is vital. This grievous blow must not be allowed permanently to set that back.”
Archbishop Handford has stated the sincere feelings of the Anglican Communion.
In my response, I encouraged the Archbishop to work with all Faith groups to assume the role of “We the People,” in the United Nations Charter: that they needed to be vigilant in protecting all lives; to search for the perpetrators of violence and their cohorts; and to minister to them and all people to appreciate the work of the United Nations in promoting peace in the Middle East.
Please convey our condolences to the relatives and friends of all United Nations staff involved in the bombing in Baghdad, assuring them of our prayers and hope that the martyrdom of those great civil servants will result in much respect for the work of the United Nations.
With much respect and prayers for your well being during these trying times in your ministry,
Yours in Christ and in Prayers,
Taimalelagi F. Tuatagaloa-Matalavea