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    17 March 2011

    Director-General of United Nations Office at Vienna Offers Condolences to Japanese People Following Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami

    VIENNA, 17 March (UN Information Service) - Following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) Yury Fedotov has expressed his deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies in a letter to the Japanese Prime Minister. Mr. Fedotov has offered his support to the people of Japan by signing a Book of Condolences which has been set up at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in Vienna today.

    In a letter to the Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, Mr. Fedotov wrote of the disastrous humanitarian and national tragedy: "I was shocked and deeply saddened when I heard of the catastrophic devastation and the loss of life in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan recently. To the families of the unfortunate victims we extend our heartfelt condolences at this time of severe personal loss and grief for an entire nation."

    Mr. Fedotov said the United Nations and its agencies are ready to bring renewed hope to the people of Japan. "It is our fervent hope that the devastation will be contained and that the Government and people of Japan will find the courage and strength knowing that the international community stands ready to assist your nation in this difficult time and onwards during the extensive recovery period," he wrote to the Prime Minister.

    The Director-General has signed the Book of Condolences at the Permanent Mission of Japan today where he expressed his sympathies to Ambassador Takeshi Nakane.

    In a message to United Nations staff in Vienna, the Director-General of UNOV and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr. Fedotov said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all our UN colleagues from Japan who must be deeply concerned for their relatives and loved ones."

    The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his sympathies to the people of Japan and said that the United Nations stands by the people of Japan and will do anything and everything it can.

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    For more information please contact:

    Anne Thomas
    Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5588
    Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5588