Security changes already made and more on the way, Annan says

3 November 2003
Kofi Annan briefs reporters

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said that the United Nations was examining security reforms suggested in a recent independent study, had already made some changes and was going to take further measures worldwide.

Mr. Annan was asked upon his arrival at UN Headquarters in New York about the timing of changes suggested last month by a panel led by Martti Ahtisaari, a former President of Finland, which had investigated the 19 August bomb blast against the UN office in Baghdad.

"We are going through the Ahtisaari report. Ahtisaari's report was sort of general, so we are going through the details, trying to find out exactly who did what, who didn't do what, and we are going to be making some changes," he said.

"In fact, we have started making quite a lot of changes even in Baghdad. The report didn't capture it, but quite a lot has been done, and in other locations, for example, the World Food Programme has taken a look at all its offices around the world and tightened up, and others are doing that. So this is a process that's going to go on," he added.

Mr. Annan said the changes would be "global."

"We are going to take measures to protect our staff, particularly in those situations which we consider high vulnerability," he said.

Last Friday Mr. Annan announced five steps he had either undertaken or would order in the wake of the bombing. One was the appointment of an independent panel to "review the responsibilities of key individuals for the lack of preventive and mitigating actions before the attack on 19 August." Asked today in a press briefing when that panel would be named, a UN spokesman said the announcement was expected "within two days."


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