An Inspiring Individual
Having of watched the BBC 4 documentary ‘Fight to save the world: Sergio‘ left me with many questions and in awe in an individual of which I had never heard of. This is one documentary of the BBC’s justice season and after watching the show last night I plan to watch those that I have missed as well as those coming up.
Fight to Save the World: Sergio looked at the life’s work of Sergio Vieira de Mello as well as his death. Having of never heard of him before makes me kind of ashamed. Here was a man who had dedicated his life to serving the UN and had paid the ultimate price for it yet I imagine if you were to say his name to most they would not know who he was (I myself am guilty of this).
Not only was he responsible for seeing East Timor becoming an independent nation but is one of the only UN representatives to hold talks with the Khmer Rouge. He was involved all over the world in helping to protect and resettle refugees including Cambodia, Bangladesh and Mozambique to name a few.
The show tracked this remarkable process while having eye witness accounts from the final moments of his life. Sergio had chosen to lead the UN mission in Iraq despite the fact that he opposed the war in Iraq on a fundamental level. Unfortunately in the eyes of Islamist Extremists the UN was a valid target as they saw it as a tool of the USA – so here was a group of people trying to help Iraq and a group of individuals chose to select the UN commission as a valid car bomb target.
The irony of this is that Sergio went to great lengths to avoid being seen as America dressed up in the guise of the UN – he wished to stress its independence. He got rid of the American troops placed at the Baghdad mission in order to distance himself from America as much as possible thus compromising his own security in order to make the UN more effective in Iraq. Yet in the line of helping people he paid with his life.
The other major question that was raised was in the final moments of his life did America do enough. Here was the most powerful nation in the world that had managed to establish multiple military bases in Iraq yet was unable to get heavy lifting equipment to the UN compound within a couple of hours of the bomb going off – surely an act that would have saved Sergio’s life.
However one must consider that during Sergio’s life he also paid the price for doing his work. Having of married young I found it sad that he was unable to raise his sons properly and his relationship with his wife was almost none existent and thus he had extra marital affairs, even the greatest of men have flaws it seems.
So for those of you who live in the UK I suggest you take the time to watch the show on iplayer as well as the other shows part of the series. For those outside of the UK – I don’t know what to say but its definitely worth trying to watch.