New York

24 August 2016

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary General on the release of his follow-up note to the report of the Independent Panel of Experts dealing with the death of Dag Hammarskjöld

The Secretary-General is pleased to announce the release of his follow-up note to the 2015 report of the Independent Panel of Experts appointed by him pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/246. The Panel’s role was to examine and assess new information relating to the tragic death of the former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and of the members of the party accompanying him.

 

In resolution 70/11 the General Assembly requested that the Secretary-General pursue pending requests for information which the Panel had made to a number of Member States.  Accordingly, the Secretary-General pursued the pending requests for information from Belgium, South Africa, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.  The letters from the Secretary-General to these Member States and the responses are provided as annexes to the Secretary-General’s note.

 

In resolution 70/11 the General Assembly also requested, as recommended by the Panel, that the Secretary-General explore the feasibility of the establishment of a central archival holding or other arrangement that would enable access to relevant records and archives with a view to ensuring their preservation and access. The Secretary-General has reached out to individuals and institutions that may hold relevant information to request that they provide an inventory of such information.  Responses continue to be received.

 

The Secretary-General and the General Assembly have both previously stated that a further inquiry or investigation would be necessary to finally establish the facts of the matter. However, any further inquiry or investigation would benefit from an assessment of potential new information, including from South Africa or other sources.  Accordingly, the Secretary-General has recommended that the General Assembly appoint an eminent person or persons to review new information which may exist.  Such person or persons would then be able to determine the scope that any further inquiry or investigation should take.

 

The Secretary-General has stated previously that the most likely source of any additional material would be the files and records of Member States.  To this end he has again urged all Member States to continue to search for and disclose relevant documents and information.

 

Ultimately, it is for the General Assembly to decide on any further action.