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Keep “Their Spirit of Service Alive” – UN Chief Urges After Ethiopian Airline Crash

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged the world body to honour the staff who perished in Sunday’s plane crash “by keeping their spirit of service alive.”

Guterres was speaking during the opening of the Commission on the Status of Women at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday, just a day after the tragic crash.

The Ethiopian Airlines crashed just a few minutes after departing from Bole International Airport, killing all 157 passengers on board, including at least 19 UN workers.

“Our colleagues were women and men, junior professionals and seasoned officials, hailing from all corners of the globe and with a wide range of expertise,” Guterres said, adding that “they all had one thing in common. A spirit to serve the people of the world and make it a better place overall.”

“A global tragedy has hit close to home, and the United Nations is united in grief,” he said, extending his “deepest condolences” to the relatives and loved ones of all those who died.

The UN workers were heading to Nairobi to attend the fourth UN Environment Assembly, which runs from 11-15 March.

Following that tragic crash, Ethiopia marked a national day of mourning on Monday.

As investigations into the cause of the crash continue, the plane’s Black Box was retrieved on Monday. The box is expected to help investigators in the probe.

The fatal crash marks the second time that a new Boeing 737 Max-8 plane has gone down in five months, the first being off the coast of Indonesia, last October.

Following that tragic crash, Ethiopia, China and Indonesia have all suspended the use of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, with reports suggesting possible software changes by Boeing were not communicated to pilots worldwide.

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