5 February 2008 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has chosen veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi to chair an independent panel on the safety and security of United Nations staff worldwide, set up in the wake of the December 2007 Algiers bombing which claimed the lives of 17 of the Organization’s staff.
Mr. Brahimi “possesses vast experience and knowledge of UN operations,” the Secretary-General told reporters in New York today as he made the announcement. “I am quite sure that he will lead this independent panel with fairness and objectivity, to bring a very important recommendation for the safety and security of the UN staff.”
Mr. Ban said he will be engaging with Member States in the coming weeks and months to strengthen the security and safety support they are providing to UN staff posted in their countries.
According to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the independent review will “evaluate the strategic issues vital to the delivery and enhancement of the security of UN personnel and premises and the changing threats and risks faced by it.”
The panel will examine the inherent vulnerabilities of UN operations around the world, study the responses of host countries, and identify the fundamental lessons drawn from preceding reports on the subject, including the preliminary report of the Department of Safety and Security on the Algiers attack.
The other members of the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of UN Personnel and Premises, which will include international experts from outside the UN system, are expected to be announced shortly.
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