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Kofi Annan words on the Italian Doctor Carlo Urbani, "a hero in the the best and truest sense of the word"

Urbani raised the alarm and saved many people, at the cost of his own life

Carlo Urbani

Carlo Urbani

After the death of Carlo Urbani, the Italian doctor who first identified SARS and died of the same disease trying to fight it, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan wanted to remember him with these words:

Dr Carlo Urbani dedicated his life to helping protect and save the life of others. 
It was characteristic of vigilance, professionalism and expertise that he was instrumental in ensuring an early response by the international community to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. 
Had it not been for his recognition that the outbreak of the virus was something out of the ordinary, many more would have fallen victim to SARS. It was the cruellest of ironies that he lost his own life to SARS while seeking to safeguard others from the disease.
Dr Urbani lives an inspiring legacy in the United Nations family and the global public health community. For his contribution on the front lines of the fight against disease, he will be remembered as a hero - in the best and truest sense of the word.

3 February 2021

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Civil courage

the strength of human dignity

Genocide cases and extreme circumstances of human rights violations, persecutions and deprivation of freedom have occurred all over the world. Those who find the courage to oppose, safeguard their own moral integrity, assessing the duty of truth, reporting the crimes against humanity and struggling to defend the founding value of civil coexistence can be defined as Righteous peopleJournalists like Sihem Bensedrine in Tunisia and writers like Gao Xingjian in China, diplomats like Enrico Calamai in Argentina and artists like Sunila Abeysekera in Sri Lanka, students like Bo Kyi in Burma and (union) activists or politicians like Maria Elena Moyano in Peru, Guillermo Chen in Guatemala, Fannie Lou Hamer in the USA, scientists, lawyers, doctors, intellectuals like Vassili Nesterenko in Belarus, Sylvie Maunga Mbanga in Congo, Halima Bashir in Darfur, Hashem Aghajari in Iran. Not to forget the prominent female figures advocating the rights of women trampled on in many world areas, like Betty Makoni in Zimbawe, Hawa Aden Mohamed in Somalia,  Khalida Toumi Messaoudi in Algeria,  Lydia Chaco in Mexico.
As well as the best-known advocates of human and civil rights like Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, Anna Politkovskaja in Russia, Orhan Pamuk in Turkey, Natasha Kandic in Serbia and Svetlana Broz in Bosnia, Ayaan Hirsi Ali from Somalia, the mothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. 

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