New York

25 October 2017

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the report of the Eminent Person relating to the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him

The Secretary-General is pleased to announce that he transmitted the report of the Eminent Person, appointed pursuant to General Assembly resolution 71/260, 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 (A/71/1042).

The Eminent Person concluded in his report that it is almost certain that Dag Hammarskjöld and the members of the party accompanying him were not assassinated after landing and that all passengers died from injuries sustained during the plane crash, either instantaneously, or soon after. As to the cause of the crash, the Eminent Person considered it plausible that an external attack or threat may have been the cause. The Eminent Person also noted that it remains possible that the crash was an accident caused by pilot error without external interference, and that it was plausible that human factors including fatigue played a role in the crash. 
Based on the Eminent Person’s findings, the Secretary-General is of the view that the information made available to the United Nations to date has been insufficient to come to conclusions about the cause or causes of the crash. The Secretary-General also considers that it seems likely that important additional information exists.

The Secretary-General calls on the General Assembly to remain seized of the matter, and to endorse the report of the Eminent Person and his recommendations. In particular, the Secretary-General calls on Member States to make available information and endorses the Eminent Person’s recommendation that Member States appoint an independent and high-ranking official to conduct a dedicated and internal review of their archives, in particular, their intelligence, security and defense archives, with a view to ensuring comprehensive access to relevant information and establishing what happened on that fateful night.

The Secretary-General wishes to express his profound gratitude to the Eminent Person for his excellent work. The Secretary-General considers the report a further important step towards fulfilling our shared responsibility for the search of the truth, which remains our solemn duty to the distinguished former Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld, to the other members of the party accompanying him, and to their families.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General