Subject: DN: Interview with de Mello on ET from Sept. 2002
Top UN Envoy in Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello Killed in Blast at UN HQ in Baghdad;
\We Hear a Democracy Now! Interview With Him from September 2002
The 55-year-old Brazilian diplomat had served in the United Nations since 1969. We play an interview conducted on September 27th, 2002 outside the United Nations in New York. In it, he says, "Should war erupt in Iraq, I believe the Iraqi people don't deserve more suffering. They have suffered enough." [He also speaks about East Timor.]
The United Nations headquarters in Baghdad has been destroyed by a truck bomb and 20 people have died in one of the deadliest attacks ever directed at the UN.
Among the dead was Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top UN official in Baghdad. Dozens were also wounded.
The 55-year-old Brazilian diplomat had served in the United Nations since 1969 in some of the world's most sensitive areas including East Timor, Yugoslavia, Cambodia and Bangladesh.
In 2000 Vieria de Mello took the lead in the UN's operation in East Timor from Indonesian occupation to independence.
Vieria de Mello described the peaceful election of independence leader Xanana Gusmao as president in April of this year as "a truly historic moment."
In late 2002 he took over as head of the UN's Human Rights Commission and was appointed as UN special representative in Iraq in earlier this year.
Recognizing the security threat in Iraq, Vieira de Mello told the Security Council in July: "The United Nations presence in Iraq remains vulnerable to any who would seek to target our organization."
In Brazil President Lula declared three days of national mourning in honor of de Mello.
* Sergio Vieira de Mello, interview conducted on September 27th 2002 outside the United Nations in New York during a flag raising ceremony celebrating East Timor's independence from Indonesia. De Mello, a Brazilian born diplomat had worked for more than 30 years in the United Nations including stints in East Timor, Kosovo, Cambodia and Cyprus.