UN Mongolia paid tribute to humanitarian workers died in helicopter accident in 2001
22 August 2021
Malchin soum, Uvs aimag, 19 August 20, 2021 – World Humanitarian Day is a global celebration of people helping people. This day was designated in memory of 19 August 2003 the bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, that killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. The UN reported 475 humanitarian aid workers were attacked, 108 were killed, 242 were wounded and 125 were hijacked in 2020 alone. This year’s theme for world humanitarian day highlights the human cost of the climate crisis.
On this special day, the UN Mongolia paid a tribute to the humanitarian workers who lost their precious lives in the helicopter crash during their dzud assessment mission in the Malchin soum, Uvs aimag on 14 January 2001. The UN Mongolia, together with the representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency, the local authorities and the family of B. Bayarmaa, UNFPA staff who were among the deceased, organised a memorial ceremony on the crash site in Malchin soum and celebrated the human sacrifice to the humanitarianism by the UN work in Mongolia.
Mongolia is susceptible to climate-related disasters including frequent dzuds, droughts, floods, wildfires and earthquakes.
In his opening remarks at the memorial ceremony, Mr. Tapan Mishra, UN Resident Coordinator, emphasised the importance of preventing any disasters if and where possible, and preparedness and swift recovery for any crisis. He called the people of Mongolia to take meaningful actions to reduce the negative impacts of the climate crisis on the most vulnerable people of the country.
Ms. Ishikawa, head of the office of the UNFPA Mongolia said that in any kind of disaster, women and girls are among the most affected. UN Mongolia will collectively continue raising awareness and advocating for the health, safety, and well-being of vulnerable populations, including women and girls, affected as we did during the current pandemic and natural disasters in Mongolia.
“We never want such a tragic accident again,” said Ch. Chimed, the Governor of Uvs aimag. “To not to repeat of losing precious lives of humanitarian workers who were to save lives of crisis-affected people, we must work together to ensure all necessary actions for prevention and preparedness for the climate disasters.”
At the memorial ceremony, a tribute of one-minute silence paid to the victims of the disastrous helicopter crash that took the lives of the Mongolian joint humanitarian assessment team including:
- Mr. Sh.Otgonbileg- Member of Parliament (Mongolian);
- Ms. Sabine Metzner-Strack - United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team leader, Head, Asia/Pacific Desk, Disaster Response Branch, OCHA -Geneva (German)
- Mr. Gerard Le Claire - UNDAC team member, Director, Environmental Services, State of Jersey, Planning & Environmental Department, UK, (British);
- Mr. Matthew Girvin - Programme Officer, UNICEF-Mongolia, (USA)
- Ms. B.Bayarmaa - Programme Officer, UNFPA -Mongolia, (Mongolian)
- Mr. Ts.Batzorig - Photographer from "Gamma" agency (Mongolian);
- Mr. D.Otgon - Technician of the helicopter (Mongolian).
- Mr. Takahiro Kato - NHK TV reporter (Japanese);
- Mr. Minoru Masaki- -NHK TV cameraman (Japanese);
Ms. Speciose Hakizimana, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Mongolia, has participated in the commemoration to pay tribute to the memory of Mr. Matthew Girvin, UNICEF-Mongolia, said that we, as UN personnel, get inspired by their humane sacrifice of our colleagues to build better tomorrow for those whom we serve.