Monday, 22 December 2014

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Report on Hammarskjöld´s death to be presented to General Assembly

Hammarskjold

11 February 2014 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked to inform the General Assembly on a new report on the death of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.

 In a letter to the President of the General Assembly the Secretary-General requests that the subject should be included in the agenda of its current session since “new evidence… has come to his attention.”

In the letter Mr Ban writes that a report of a commission of jurist on the death of Hammarskjöld had been presented to him in September 2013. In late December and on one earlier occasion, information the commission had relied on had been delivered to the UN. The commission called for a formal investigation on the death of Hammarskjöld and 15 others in a plane crash in North-Rhodesia, now Zambia, in 1961.

One of the main initiators for a new investigation, Karl Gustav Hammar, the former head of the Church of Sweden, has welcomed the Secretary-General´s initiative. “My interpretation is that the Secretary-General wants the member states to take an internal look and present whatever they may find in their archives, " Archbishop Hammer says. "Since the commission pointed to the US National Security Agency (NSA) I think Ban Ki-moon wants to decrease the pressure and ask: who knows anything at all? Now that the General Assembly will put the issue on its agenda, there will be a chance for a discussion,” Hammer told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

NSA had acknowledged to the commission that it had conducted signal surveillance in the area where the plane crash took place in 1961 but refused to hand over two existing documents citing national security reasons. It is also believed that information may be found in British archives.

The commission of jurists was chaired by Sir Stephen Sedley (UK) and composed also of Ambassador Hans Corell (Sweden), Justice Richard Goldstone (South Africa) and Judge Wilhelmina Thomassen (Netherlands).

Report of the commission of jurists: http://www.hammarskjoldcommission.org/report/

Letter of the Secretary-General to the President of the General Assembly: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/68/232

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