Excellency, Mr. Michael Moussa Adamo, Hon’ble Foreign Minister of the Gabonese Republic, and President of the UN Security Council;
Heads of Delegations of the UN Security Council Member States;
Fourteen years ago, on 26 November 2008, the city of Mumbai was witness to one of the most shocking terror attacks of our times. 140 Indian nationals and 26 citizens of 23 other countries lost their lives in a period of 4 days. In fact, this entire city was held hostage by terrorists who had entered from across the border.
2. If much worse was averted, it was only because they ran into the collective resolve of Indian security forces, brave civilians and the security and staff of this very Taj Hotel. All of them fought back valiantly in their own ways to ensure that the forces of evil were finally defeated. 18 members of the Indian police forces, 12 members of the Taj Hotel Staff and security were martyred in the line of duty. As we pay tribute to them at this 26/11 memorial site, we salute their valour and resolve.
3. We all recall that the victims included ordinary Mumbaikars going about their daily lives at the Chhatrapati Maharaj Terminus Railway Station; the patients, doctors, and nursing staff at the Cama Hospital; the guests and staff of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, of Café Leopold and the Oberoi Trident Hotel; the Chabad house, where Baby Moshe’s parents were killed; and innocent bystanders on the streets.
4. It was not just an attack on Mumbai, but an attack on the international community. Nationals of specific countries were identified before being murdered. As a result, the commitment of each and every member state of the UN to combat terrorism stood publicly challenged. Since then, we have endeavoured to bring the masterminds and perpetrators of this attack to justice. This task remains unfinished. Therefore, the coming together of the UNSC’s Counter Terrorism Committee to this venue is both special and significant.
5. I thank all members of the Security Council and other Member States who have joined us today in an expression of solidarity. Together, we should send out the message that theinternational community will never give up on holding terrorists accountable and delivering justice. 26/11 will never ever be forgotten.