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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Iraq ceremony for slain envoy
Bodyguards carry the coffin of slain UN envoy to Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello at a ceremony before the coffin was put on a Brazilian air force jet
Vieira de Mello has been described as one of UN's finest diplomats
A ceremony has taken place in Baghdad for the slain UN special envoy to Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Mourners included the chief US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, members of the interim Governing Council and UN officials.

Vieira de Mello was one of at least 23 people killed in a suicide bomb attack on the UN offices in Baghdad on Tuesday.

A Brazilian air force jet carrying his body is en route for Geneva where his wife and two children will join the aircraft before it heads for his native Brazil.

Career highlights
1981: Adviser to UN forces, Lebanon
1996: Humanitarian coordinator, Rwanda
1999: Special representative for Kosovo
2000: Head of UN operations, East Timor
2002: UN Commissioner for Human Rights
2003: UN special representative in Iraq

His body will be laid at the city hall in Rio de Janeiro for the public to pay their last respects before a burial in France.

Vieira de Mello's final journey will be to the small town of Thonon-les-Bains on the French-Swiss border - the birthplace of his wife, Annie. The funeral is expected on Monday.

Vieira de Mello's mother and sister live in Rio de Janeiro, while his two sons have their homes in Switzerland.

Vieira de Mello had homes in Switzerland and France.

He was based in Geneva, but his work with the UN took him to many conflict zones around the world in a career lasting more than 30 years.

Iraq's Governing Council described the Brazilian diplomat as "a friend of the Iraqi people" and called for a monument to be named in his memory.


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