UN requests appointment of panel to probe new information on Dag Hammarskjöld death

31 December 2014

The United Nations General Assembly approved by consensus a resolution that requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint an independent panel of experts to examine new information that has emerged on the death of former UN chief Dag Hammarskjöld.

The independent panel is also requested to “assess the probative value” of that information, after the Secretary-General submitted a note that included his assessment that the report of the Commission of Jurists on the Inquiry into Mr. Hammarskjöld’s death includes new evidence.

Member States are encouraged to release any relevant records in their possession and to provide relevant information related to the death of Mr. Hammarskjöld and others on accompanying him on an aircraft that crashed in what is today Zambia on the night of 17-18 September 1961.

A UN Commission of Inquiry held between 1961 and 1962 reached an open verdict on the cause of the crash in which all the plane’s passengers and crew died and the General Assembly passed resolution 1759 in 1962 requesting the Secretary-General to inform the Assembly of “any new evidence which may come to his attention.”

The Secretary-General is requested to report to the General Assembly during its upcoming 70th session on progress made.

In a mid-March note to the 193-member Assembly, Mr. Ban informed Member States that the Inquiry into Mr. Hammarskjöld’s death (known informally as the “Hammarskjöld Commission”) had uncovered “new evidence…relating to the conditions and circumstances” relating to the former Secretary-General’s death.

“The unparalleled service and sacrifice of Dag Hammarskjöld and his legacy within the United Nations and beyond compel us to seek the whole truth of the circumstances leading to his tragic death and that of the members of the party accompanying him,” said Mr. Ban in the note.


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