Murder of Zaida Catalán, Michael Sharp ‘an Assault on Values of United Nations’, Says Secretary-General, Paying Tribute to Organization Experts
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the dedication of the Abused Ammunition sculpture, in New York today:
I thank the Governments of Sweden and the United States for convening this dedication of the Abused Ammunition Sculpture, in honour of Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp.
To the families of Zaida and Michael, we extend our warmest welcome. Thank you for joining us here. I want to offer once again our deepest condolences on your incalculable loss.
Zaida and Michael devoted their lives to advancing human rights and humanitarian action; and to supporting vulnerable people. Their murder was a heinous crime. It was an assault on the values of the United Nations — an attack on the mission that countless women and men around the world risk their lives every day to uphold.
The Abused Ammunition sculpture honours that mission by imagining the sorrow of inanimate objects — in this case, bullets — over the part they play in death and destruction.
I thank the artist, Thommy Bremberg, for his message of empathy, and for honouring the achievements and sacrifices of United Nations personnel.
The United Nations continues to assist the Congolese authorities in their investigation and prosecution of those responsible for killing Zaida and Michael, and the disappearance of the four Congolese citizens who were with them.
I thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde, and the Permanent Representative of the United States for joining us today and for honouring the memory of these two very dedicated people.