We are deeply saddened to announce the loss of Victor Shangai Tsang, who was a passenger on the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines plane which crashed on the morning of 10 March 2019 near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Victor’s death is a devastating loss, not just for UN Environment, but for the United Nations as a whole. He was a great ambassador for the organization, embodying and upholding its spirit and ideals.
A native of Hong Kong, China, Victor joined the World Food Programme as an Intern in 2011. He went on to join the United Nations Environment Programme in 2015, working as a Programme Officer in the Gender and Safeguards Unit.
Victor took up this position with vigor and enthusiasm, striving to make our projects fully gender-sensitive. We saw his work grow and flourish as the UN Environment Gender Marker System became integrated into our REDD+ and Global Environment Facility programmes.
Last year, Victor assumed the role of Policy Officer on Sustainable Development, with focus and dedication. In less than a year, and through his efforts, he established the Sustainable Development Goals Hub which brought together colleagues from across UN Environment. Thanks to Victor’s initiative, we were able to carry on daily conversations on the Sustainable Development Goals and their links to the environment. In what turned out to be his last—and greatly appreciated—contribution to our work, Victor marshalled a team of interns and experienced staffers to promote the SDG Innovation Talks at the UN Environment Assembly taking place this week in Nairobi.
Victor embodied the United Nations Global Goals—in particular that of gender equality. His work defined him as an individual, and he in turn helped define our own work. He will be remembered with great affection by all colleagues whose lives he touched. He represented the best in all of us, and we will miss him terribly.
Victor is survived by his wife Aurora, who is expecting, as well as his son Oliver Baraka.