Liberia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Cecilia Forgbe Wreh-McGill, on Monday, September 20, 2021, on behalf of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, and His Excellency Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Minister of Foreign Affairs, joined world leaders, representatives of the United Nations Member States and the United Nations System at a special ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in the United States.
Organized by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and held at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York, the event brought together more than three hundred (300) participants, including Heads of States, Ministers, and Delegations representing more than 120 Member States and international organizations who have gathered in New York for the opening of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The commemoration demonstrates the United Nations’ commitment to never forget the nearly three thousand (3,000) people from over ninety (90) countries whose lives were taken during the attack and the thousands more that were injured or sickened.
Opening the ceremony, Ms. Alice M. Greenwald, President and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, said, “for many, the Memorial is seen as the place where the 21st century began. The attacks of September 11, 2001, may have happened here in the United States, but in truth, 9/11 was a global moment. The 2,977 individuals killed as a result of those attacks represented over 90 nations. They were a microcosm of the world. Your presence here is a powerful demonstration of global solidarity with the victims of 9/11 and their families, indeed with all victims of terrorism. Standing here today, you affirm the imperative of remembrance and underscore the obligation of our shared humanity – recognizing that the human impacts of terrorism and extreme violence are universal and collectively acknowledging the absolute illegitimacy of terrorism as a response to political grievance.”
On behalf of Secretary-General António Guterres, Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, highlighted the significance of the event. “We have gathered from all over the world on this sacred ground in the host city of the United Nations to pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the terrible attacks that occurred here just over twenty years ago,” he said.
Under-Secretary-General Voronkov reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to continue to place victims at the heart of the global counter-terrorism efforts, to speak for those who can no longer speak, and to amplify the voices of survivors. “We will continue to stand in solidarity with all victims of terrorism. They will not be forgotten. No day shall erase them from the memory of time”, he assured.
H.E. Mr. José Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation of Spain in his capacity as co-Chair of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism expressed to grieving families the Group of Friends’ deepest sympathy and solidarity, as well as solidarity with the people of New York City, the United States of America, and all victims around the world that have suffered at the hands of terrorists.
The ceremony included a minute of silence and concluded with Under-Secretary-General Voronkov and Foreign Minister Albares laying wreaths in memory of victims of the September 11 attacks, and all victims of terrorism worldwide.