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Today in 2004, the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed the sense of loss the UN system felt after Richard Conroy’s passing. “Richard was not only an exceptionally dedicated and talented colleague – he was also a thoroughly decent human being,” Mr. Annan said. “We were deeply fortunate to know him and to work with him.”
Following posts in India, Sri Lanka and China, Richard Conroy accepted the mantle of UN Resident Coordinator in 2001, two weeks after the September 11th attacks, and worked tirelessly to overcome the consequential difficulties faced in Afghanistan and surrounding nations. Through his integrity and engagement, warmth and generosity, infallible good cheer and commitment to the United Nations goals and ideals, Richard made a longstanding contribution to the positive work of the UN in Uzbekistan.
Thanks to his energy and determination, UNDP was able to open the Friendship Bridge to Afghanistan, allowing crucial humanitarian assistance to flow in from the Uzbek border town of Termez to the Afghan people in their hour of need. It was his ability to mobilise and motivate the entire UN Country Team that helped to ensure the success of that critical endeavour. It is the cruellest of ironies that he lost his life while returning from a mission to Termez.
Today UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Stefan Priesner, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Jaco Cilliers, and staff members of the UN Country Office in Uzbekistan held a remembrance ceremony at Richard Conroy’s grave in Tashkent.
The UN Family invites its staff, and longstanding national and international partners, to reflect on Richard Conroy passing and contributions. Our warmest condolences and sympathies go out to Richard Conroy’s family.