Marking International Day of Solidarity with Detained, Missing United Nations Staff, Secretary-General Calls for Greater Action Ensuring Safety, Security
Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members, observed on 25 March:
On International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members, we focus attention on the dangers faced by our personnel and partners as they carry out the vital work of the United Nations. We salute their courage and service in some of the most challenging parts of the world — and we call for greater action to ensure their safety and security.
United Nations personnel should never face threats for carrying out their essential mission and serving people. But, the reality is that they may confront deliberate attacks, ambushes, kidnappings, intimidation and unlawful detention. This is unacceptable.
Since 2021, 239 United Nations personnel have been detained, 21 of whom were detained in 2023. In total, 28 United Nations personnel are still in detention. National staff are often at particular risk.
I call on all countries to fully implement the 1994 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, as well as the 2005 Optional Protocol to the Convention, which extends protection to personnel delivering humanitarian, political or development assistance.
Today and every day, we stand in solidarity with all detained colleagues and their families and pledge to protect all United Nations personnel as they work to help the world’s most vulnerable people.