Tuesday, September 10, 2013

UN: Ban to study findings of commission linked to death of former UN chief Hammarskjöld

Former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in March 1954. UN Photo/MB

UN - 9 September 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he would closely study the findings of an international commission linked to the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, the former United Nations chief killed in a 1961 plane crash.

A report released today by a Commission of Jurists reportedly suggests that new evidence has emerged showing the plane was shot down en route to peace negotiations in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The Commission, comprised of high-profile international judges and diplomats, has reportedly urged the UN to reopen a probe into the September 1961 plane crash.

In a note to correspondents, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the UN is among those most concerned in arriving at the whole truth of the circumstances leading to Mr. Hammarskjöld’s death.

“The UN Secretariat will closely study the findings of the Commission’s report,” the spokesperson noted, adding that Mr. Ban thanked the Commission for their work and the Enabling Committee for its initiative in setting up the Commission.

Mr. Hammarskjöld led the UN from 1953 until his death in 1961, when he perished with 15 others in a plane crash in what was then known as Northern Rhodesia – now Zambia – while en route to Katanga in the DRC to negotiate a ceasefire.

Look back at the life of Mr. Hammarskjöld in photos.