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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 5 February 2008 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of UN personnel and premises

The Secretary-General has decided to establish an Independent Panel on Safety and Security of UN personnel and premises around the world.

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 in order to build confidence among the staff within the system and enhance credibility among the member states, civil society and other relevant stake holders. It will study the responses of host countries as well as identify the fundamental lessons drawn from preceding reports on the subject up to and including the preliminary report of the Department of Safety and Security of January 11 2008, covering the most recent attack. It will make recommendations on improvements needed in the systems and practices of the UN, as well as additional resources needed to face security challenges, where possible, to prevent the occurrence of such incidents and where they have occurred, to lessen their impact.

After engaging in consultations, including with member states, the Secretary-General has appointed Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi to serve as Chairperson of the Panel. Additionally, the panel will comprise of a number of experts in the field of safety and security who will function independently and in their personal capacity. The names of these experts will be announced shortly.

Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi met the Secretary-General yesterday to discuss the composition of the panel as well as the scope and direction of its work. The Secretary-General recognizes the urgency of the review and has stressed that the Panel should begin its deliberations as early as possible and that it completes its work expeditiously.

New York, 5 February 2008

Statements on 5 February 2008