NEWYORK/ROME/BAGHDAD, MAY 23 – Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned yesterday’s horrific terrorist attack targeting crowd gathering for an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, the United Kingdom, while the United Nations Security Council held a moment of silence to honor the victims.
According to media reports, a suicide bombing killed at least 22 people and injured many at Manchester Arena, at the end of a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mr. Guterres conveys “his profound sympathy and solidarity with the people and Government of the United Kingdom” and “his condolences to the families and friends of those killed, and wishes the injured an early and full recovery,” said a statement issued by the Secretary-General’s Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.
“The Secretary-General hopes that those who are responsible for this despicable attack will be swiftly found and bought to justice,” it added.
Also today, the Security Council issued a statement to the press, condemning “in the strongest terms the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack” while expressing condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the Government of the United Kingdom.
“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” the statement said, underlining the need to bring the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts to justice.
Ahead of their meetings today, Council members also held a moment of silence to honor the victims. In Baghdad a minute of silence opened the visit of Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Enzo Amendola, who met at the bilateral level representatives of Iraqi institutions: the Minister of Culture, Fryad Rwandouzi; the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nizar Khairallah; the President of Parliament, Salim al Jubouri; and the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Abdulbari Al Zebari.
In Rome flags flew at half-staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters. Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano expressed solidarity with Great Britain. “Condolences and pain for what happened in Manchester,” Alfano said via Twitter. “We are close to the British people, to the government, to the injured and to the families of the victims”, Alfano said. Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said Tuesday that Monday’s suicide bombing that killed at least 22 people at a concert in Manchester was “an attack on the whole of Europe”.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella sent Queen Elizabeth a message. “All of Italy is dismayed by the images that came from Manchester during the night,” the message read. “The news of the involvement of very young boys and girls, victims of this senseless criminal violence while they were at the serene occasion of a concert, causes particular pain”. (@OnuItalia)