19 November 2015
Seventieth Session, 58th Meeting (AM)

General Assembly, in Two Texts, Extends Terms of Board Members Assisting Shift to Sustainable Consumption, Considers Probe into Dag Hammarskjӧld’s Death

The General Assembly today unanimously adopted texts on widely differing topics — one which gave its members the chance to reflect on the history of the Organization as well as on the idealism inspired by a past leader and another on the Board tasked with promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The resolution, entitled “Investigation into the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him”, adopted without a vote, transmits the report of the Independent Panel of Experts established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/246. 

Contained in document A/70/132, the report examines and assesses the probative value of new information concerning the death of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and the members of the party accompanying him, in particular, relating to the hypothesis of an aerial attack or other interference as a possible cause or causes of the plane crash.  It presents the expert Panel’s key findings, conclusions and recommendations, and recognizes that a further inquiry was necessary to finally establish the facts of the matter.

In the resolution, the Assembly urged all Member States, in particular those addressed in the Panel’s report, to release any relevant records in their possession and to provide Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with relevant information related to those deaths.

Introducing the text, the representative of Sweden said that Dag Hammarskjöld’s influence on the United Nations was profound and resonated to this day.  His dedication and moral leadership in a world of turmoil were exceptional, and he had fought hard for the integrity of the Organization.  The contrast between his life and legacy, and what was known about the circumstances surrounding his death, were troubling. 

Last year, the speaker noted, the Assembly had passed a resolution establishing the Independent Expert Panel to look into the circumstances surrounding his death and those accompanying him.  Clarity on what had transpired was important for the families of the 16 victims and the Organization as a whole. 

Judging from eyewitness accounts and other information uncovered by the Panel, he said there was a need for follow-up.  It could be the last chance to find the truth, whose pursuit was a shared responsibility of the international community. 

According to a draft decision submitted by the Assembly President, entitled “Board of the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns”, it was agreed that the members of the Board should serve until 15 September 2017.  It, too, was adopted without a vote. 

The General Assembly will meet again at 11 a.m. tomorrow, 20 November, to take up an agenda item titled “Global awareness of the tragedies of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean basin, with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum-seekers”.

For information media. Not an official record.