ADDIS ABABA, April 10 (Xinhua) -- UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) held an event on Wednesday to pay tribute to staff members who were killed in an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash a month ago.
On March 10, a Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed near Bishoftu town, about 45 km from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, just minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport, killing all 157 people aboard.
The event, which commemorated 21 UN staff members as well as 12 other victims working for international non-governmental organizations, was held in the premises of the UNECA in Addis Ababa.
Executive Secretary of UNECA Vera Songwe, said the plane crash victims came from various countries and reunited in their aims to work for a better future for the world.
"Our colleagues, 33 of them, 21 from the UN and 12 from the NGO community were men and women, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and husbands. They ranged from junior professionals to veteran professionals hailing from all corners of the globe and with a wide area of expertise."
"They came from 11 UN agencies, 12 NGOs and represented 17 countries, highlighting richness and diversity," said Songwe.
The UNECA executive secretary acknowledged her organization is currently facing a difficult period, with the loss of so many UN staff members in the plane crash.
"It has been a difficult period for all of us and especially for family members. We would never be able to comprehend the pain and loss family members of the victims must be enduring," said Songwe.
She also said UNECA is working with Ethiopian government organizations to assist the families of the plane crash victims as they endure difficult times.
"Since the day of the accident, the UN family in Ethiopia has been working very closely with Ethiopian Airlines and other government departments in mobilizing assistance, counseling and any other needed support for families of the victims," said Songwe.