That Iraq was perhaps the greatest blow the United Nations has suffered in recent years is a fact underscored by the tragic death of one of its shining stars – Vieira de Mello – at a time when the organization desperately needed someone like him as a representative. His willingness to lead operations in the field, his unwillingness to hide from local populations behind security cordons, and his ability to listen and engage are all qualities that Power notes would have been very helpful to both the Iraqis and the Coalition Forces had de Mello lived through his time in Baghdad.
Sadly, a suicide bomber decided this was not to be. The world owes Sergio Vieira de Mello thanks for paying the ultimate price in his efforts to make this world a better place for all of us. We also owe Samantha Power for reminding us just how significant a sacrifice this charismatic diplomat made.
Uzodinma Iweala is a writer based out of New York City.