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Panel to examine new information on death of Hammarskjöld in 1961


United Nations-An independent panel of experts is to examine new information that emerged on the death of former UN chief Dag Hammarskjöld.

The United Nations General Assembly approved a consensus resolution requesting the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to appoint the panel in New York on Wednesday.
Hammarskjöld, a Swedish diplomat, economist and the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, served between April 1953 and Sept. 1961 until his death in a plane crash.

The panel is also expected to “assess the probative value” of that information.

This was after the Secretary-General submitted a note that included his assessment of the report of the Commission of Jurists on the Inquiry into Hammarskjöld’s death.

The 193 Member-State Assembly said they were encouraged to release any relevant records in their possession and to provide relevant information related to the death of Hammarskjöld.

The Assembly was also encouraged to release records on others who accompanied Hammarskjold in the aircraft that crashed in what is today known as Zambia on the night of Sept. 17-18, 1961.

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NAN reports that a UN Commission of Inquiry set up between 1961 and 1962 reached an open verdict on the cause of the crash in which all the plane’s passengers and crew died.

The General Assembly had passed resolution 1759 in 1962 requesting the Secretary-General to inform the Assembly of “any new evidence which may come to his attention.”

By the resolution, 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, Ban informed Member States that the Inquiry into Hammarskjöld’s death, known informally as the “Hammarskjöld Commission”, had uncovered “new evidence.
“This relates to the conditions and circumstances” relating to the former Secretary-General’s death.

“The unparalleled service and sacrifice of Hammarskjöld and his legacy, compel us to seek the whole truth of the circumstances leading to his tragic death and of members of the party accompanying him.’’ (NAN)

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