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'Sad day' for UN and the world: Annan

'Sad day' for UN and the world: Annan(ABC)

United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan says air strikes on Iraq 
mark "a sad day for the United Nations and for the

He was speaking ahead ahead of a Security Council meeting to discuss the 

"My thoughts tonight are with the people of Iraq and with the 307 United 
Nations humanitarian workers who remain in the
country and with all others whose lives are in danger," Mr Annan said.

"It is also a very sad day for me personally. Throughout this year, I 
have done everything in my power to ensure peaceful
compliance with Security Council resolutions and to avert the use of 

"But all this has not been an easy or painless process. It has required 
patience, determination and the will to seek peace, even
when all signs pointed to war.

"However daunting the task, the United Nations had to try as long as any 
hope of peace remained.

"I deeply regret that today these efforts have proved insufficient.

"What has happened cannot be reversed nor can any of us foresee the 

"All we know is that tomorrow, as yesterday, there will be still an 
acute need, in Iraq and in the wider region, for both
humanitarian relief and healing diplomacy.

"In both these tasks, the United Nations will be ready, as ever, to play 
its part," Mr Annan said.

Russian UN envoy Sergei Lavrov requested the meeting of the Security 

During an earlier meeting, the Security Council seemed divided, with 
China unhappy about the use of force.

That meeting broke up as news of the air strikes broke. 

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