The U.N. observed a moment of silence Monday, the tenth anniversary of the bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad; 22 people died that day, including envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello. The date of the attacks, Aug. 19, is now known as World Humanitarian Day, a time to honor aid workers who often serve in dangerous and trying conditions around the world.
"We commemorate their sacrifice and reaffirm our commitment to the life-saving work that humanitarians carry out around the world, every day, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances where others cannot or do not want to go," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during today's memorial ceremony.
In honor of the special day, the organization assembled a photo gallery featuring aid workers who are trying to make life better for people in perilous situations. And World Humanitarian Day organizers are urging people to submit ideas for how to complete the following sentence: "The World Needs More __."
For example, the pint-sized exuberant known as Kid President taped a message backing the campaign and stating, "The world needs more hugs."
The effort also has the support of singer Beyonce, who sat for an interview with Kid President to discuss what she feels the world needs more of — and to get a kiss on the cheek, despite her interviewer's initial reservations.
Organizers are hoping people use the event website and Twitter to support ideas and make their own suggestions. The project includes a way for donors and sponsors to contribute to U.N. relief efforts.
In adopting the resolution to set aside Aug. 19 as World Humanitarian Day, the U.N. General Assembly said it reaffirmed "the principles of neutrality, humanity, impartiality and independence for the provision of humanitarian assistance."