HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FARHAN HAQ,
DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
MONDAY, 6 JULY 2015
SECRETARY-GENERAL TRANSMITS DAG HAMMARSKJOLD PANEL REPORT TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY, URGES FURTHER ACTION TO ESTABLISH FACTS
- In a statement on the report of the Independent Panel of Experts dealing with the death of Dag Hammarskjöld: The Secretary-General is pleased to announce that he has conveyed the report of the Independent Panel of Experts, which he appointed pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/246, to the President of the General Assembly along with his own observations on the progress made and on the way forward in the search for the truth about the tragic death of the late Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld, and of the fifteen members of the party accompanying him.
- The Secretary-General’s letter to the President as well as the transmittal letter of the Head of the Panel, the report of the Panel and its appendices have been issued in General Assembly document A/70/132 and are thus available to all Member States and to the public at large.
- The Panel has made significant progress in the search for the truth about the events of 17th and 18th September 1961. The following are among the most salient findings in the Panel’s report.
- The Panel found new information which upholds the original 1961 post-mortem examination of the 16 passengers on board SE-BDY. The Panel also examined and assessed the probative value of new information relating to the various hypotheses of the cause or causes of the crash. It found that the new information relating to hijacking and sabotage had nil or weak probative value. It found new information relating to “crew fatigue” which contributes to one or more of the hypothesis. Most importantly, the Panel found new information, which it assessed as having moderate probative value, sufficient to further pursue aerial attack or other interference as a hypothesis of the possible cause of the crash.
- Based on these findings, the Secretary-General is of the view that “a further inquiry or investigation would be necessary to finally establish the facts. Such an inquiry or investigation would, however, be in a better position to reach a conclusive finding regarding the tragic events of 17th and 18th of September 1961 with the benefit of the specific information requested by the Panel from the Member States concerned”.
- The Secretary-General will pursue the pending requests for specific information made by the Panel to certain Member States, and urges all Member States to declassify or otherwise make available any information they may have in their possession related to the circumstances and conditions resulting in the deaths of Dag Hammarskjöld and the other members of the party accompanying him. Accordingly, the Secretary-General recommends that the General Assembly remain seized of the matter and that it reiterate its encouragement to Member States to provide any relevant records or information.
- The Secretary-General conveys his sincere gratitude to the Head and members of the Panel, Mr. Mohamed Chande Othman of Tanzania, Ms. Kerryn Macaulay of Australia and Mr. Henrik Larsen of Denmark, and to all those who extended their cooperation to the Panel, including the former Hammarskjöld Commissioners -- and above all to the eyewitnesses who waited so long to be heard.
- The Secretary-General is convinced that the report of the Panel constitutes an indispensable step towards fulfilling our shared responsibility to establish the facts after these many years. This is our solemn duty to the distinguished former Secretary-General, Mr. Dag Hammarskjöld, to the other members of the party accompanying him, and to their families.
LESSONS OF MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS CAN SERVE AS SPRINGBOARD FOR FUTURE PROGRESS, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS IN NORWAY
- The Secretary-General is in Norway, where he participated in the global launch of the Millennium Development Goal Progress Report in New York by VTC, alongside the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, and the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, both members of the MDG Advocacy Group.
- In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that the report confirms that the global efforts to achieve the Goals have saved millions of lives and improved conditions for millions more around the world. However, he said that progress has not reached everyone and that too many people have been left behind. The lessons from the MDGs can be our springboard for future progress, he said, adding that setting goals works, both as a guide and as a benchmark for greater accountability.
- Upon arrival in Oslo, the Secretary-General met with the Norwegian Foreign Minister, with whom he discussed the upcoming Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa and UN efforts in Syria and Yemen, among other topics.
- He also participated in a Humanitarian Forum on the role of civil society in humanitarian emergencies, stressing that our capacity to meet humanitarian needs is under unprecedented strain.
- The Secretary-General also attended a side event of the Oslo Summit on Education for Development that will open tomorrow.
U.N. EXPERTS ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT WRAP UP GUINEA VISIT
- A team of United Nations experts, working as part of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, has wrapped up a two-day visit to Guinea.
- The team’s visit was part of ongoing support to Guinea’s efforts to ensure accountability for sexual violence crimes committed in a soccer stadium in Conakry in September 2009.
- While in Guinea, the team met with the Minister of Justice, civil society organisations, lawyers representing victims and service providers, as well as with the Panel of Judges which was set up to investigate and prosecute these crimes.
- With the UN team’s support, more than 400 people have been heard, leading to 15 indictments, including for high ranking military officers.
- The team will continue to support the work of the Panel of Judges to ensure that those responsible for these crimes are held accountable.
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO HOST GLOBAL EBOLA RECOVERY CONFERENCE
- On Friday, the Secretary-General will host an International Ebola Recovery Conference in New York in cooperation with the Presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, who are expected to be present.
- The conference, which will begin at 10 a.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, aims to ensure that the Ebola affected countries receive the support and resources they need. It will take place in partnership with the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
TANZANIA BECOMES 104TH U.N. MEMBER STATE TO PAY FULL DUES
- The United Republic of Tanzania has become the 104th Member State to pay its regular budget dues in full.