United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon walks to deliver a speech during the opening session of the high-level segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, Dec. 12, 2007. The high-level segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference was opened in Bali on Wednesday. (Xinhua Photo)
"These cowardly attacks cannot be justified under any circumstances," said the UN chief.
"The perpetrators of these crimes cannot escape the strongest possible condemnation of the entire international community."
Participants attend the opening session of the high-level segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, Dec. 12, 2007. The high-level segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference was opened in Bali on Wednesday. (Xinhua Photo)
Before his speech, Ban Ki-moon joined hundreds of participants at the opening ceremony in observing one minute of silence in memory of the victims of the car bombing attack on the United Nations mission in Algiers, the capital of Algeria on Tuesday. The attack has reportedly killed dozens of people, including a number of UN staff members.
"Words cannot express my sense of shock, outrage and anger at the terrorist attack on the United Nations mission in Algiers," said the UN chief before joining the opening session.
"This was an abjectly cowardly strike against civilian officials serving humanity's highest ideals under the UN banner --base, indecent and unjustifiable by even the most barbarous political standard," he said.
"We do not yet have an accurate count of the many casualties, both among UN staff and the local population. But our hearts go out to the victims. Their sacrifice cannot and shall not be forgotten. The perpetrators of these crimes will not escape the strongest possible condemnation -- and ultimate punishment -- by Algerian authorities and the international community," he said.
"I have instructed senior advisers from my Executive Office, UNDP and the Department of Safety and Security to proceed to Algiers immediately," he said, adding that" We will take every possible measure to aid those injured in the attack and their families. The security of UN staff is paramount. We will take every measure to ensure their safety, in Algeria and elsewhere, beginning with an immediate review of our security precautions and policies."
The high-level segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali is being attended by heads of state and government and environment ministers, who are expected to make the final decision on an international agreement on enhanced global action on climate change.
The segment, due to conclude on Friday, was proceeded by a series of sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, its subsidiary bodies as well as the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol.
The UN climate conference opened in the Indonesian island of Bali on Dec. 3 and it brings together representatives of over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.