23 January 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12062

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES UNITED STATES DECISION TO START PROCESS


FOR CLOSING GUANTÁNAMO BAY DETENTION FACILITY


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General joins the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in welcoming yesterday's executive orders by President Barack Obama of the United States initiating a process for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, a review of United States detention policies and the introduction of measures to ensure lawful interrogations.  The Secretary-General also welcomes the United States Administration’s ban on certain methods of interrogation.


The United Nations has previously called for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, and is encouraged that President Obama has given the highest priority to ensuring respect for fundamental rights.


The Secretary-General looks forward to working with all Member States of the United Nations in fighting the scourge of terrorism while fully respecting international human rights obligations.


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For information media • not an official record