UN panel of inquiry into Gaza flotilla incident sends initial reports to Ban

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) meeting with the Panel of Inquiry on the Flotilla Incident on 10 August 2010.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) meeting with the Panel of Inquiry on the Flotilla Incident on 10 August 2010.

UN panel of inquiry into Gaza flotilla incident sends initial reports to Ban

The Secretary-General’s panel of inquiry into the Gaza flotilla incident on 31 May has told Ban Ki-moon it has the means available to it to respond to the high international concern that has been expressed concerning the incident, his spokesperson said today.

Mr. Ban looks forward to the four-member panel’s substantive treatment of the flotilla incident after it has received and been able to review reports from both Israel and Turkey on their national investigations, spokesperson Martin Nesirky said in a statement.

Mr. Ban has received the panel’s initial progress report, which is largely procedural in nature. Based on the two initial meetings, the report explains the panel’s understanding of the tasks at hand and the working methods it has unanimously adopted to carry out its mandate. It reports that proceedings have been conducted in a positive and collegial manner.

The Secretary-General noted that the panel agreed unanimously that it would receive and review reports of national investigations into the incident from Israel and Turkey, and where it considers that it requires further information, clarifications or meetings from Israel or Turkey, make such request to the points of contact designated by those States.

It reported that where it considers it necessary to obtain information from other affected States, it may request such information through appropriate diplomatic channels. It agreed that in the light of the information so gathered, it would examine and identify the facts, circumstances and context of the incident and make findings and recommendations for the prevention of similar incidents in the future.

“The Secretary-General is pleased that the panel is now fully under way and focused on fulfilling its very important responsibilities. He is encouraged that the Panel reported it had conducted its proceedings in a positive and collegial atmosphere,” Mr. Nesirky said.

Former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer chairs the panel, while the ex-president of Colombia Alvaro Uribe serves as vice-chair. Joseph Ciechanover is the Israeli representative and Özdem Sanberk is the Turkish representative.

Mr. Ban convened the panel following the 31 May incident involving the flotilla, which had departed Turkey and was bound for the Gaza Strip.