The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is pleased to announce that he transmitted the report of the Eminent Person, appointed pursuant to General Assembly resolution 72/252, to the President of the General Assembly, together with his own observations on the progress made and on the way forward in the search for the truth relating to the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him (document A/73/973).
The Secretary-General renews his gratitude to the Eminent Person and commends the Eminent Person for his excellent work and unwavering commitment.
Based on paragraph 5 of resolution 72/252, a number of Member States appointed independent and high-ranking officials to conduct a dedicated internal review of the intelligence, security and defence archives of those Member States to determine whether further information exists in relation to the tragic death.
In this regard, the Secretary-General notes that the Eminent Person has received new information about possible causes of the crash and that advancements have been made in the body of relevant knowledge, most notably regarding the areas of (i) probable intercepts by Member States of relevant communications; (ii) the capacity of the armed forces of Katanga or others to have staged a possible attack against the Secretary-General’s plane (including aircraft, as well as airfields and airstrips); and (iii) the presence in the area of foreign paramilitary, including pilots, and intelligence personnel.
The Secretary-General is pleased that the Eminent Person concluded that Member States’ engagement has, on the whole, been excellent and the Secretary-General wishes to express his gratitude to Member States, and in particular to the Independent Appointees, as well as to private individuals for their cooperation with the Eminent Person. While much progress has been made, the Secretary-General considers that it is equally clear that the work will need to continue with renewed urgency, with a view to establishing the truth of the tragic event.
The Secretary-General calls on the General Assembly to remain seized of the matter, and to endorse the report of the Eminent Person.
The Secretary-General would like to reiterate that he is deeply committed to doing everything to support the search for the truth. We owe this to Dag Hammarskjöld and the members of the party accompanying him.