Agenda item 130: Investigation into the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him. Statement by Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN. United Nations General Assembly, 12 December 2022, New York.
I am pleased to introduce today, on behalf of all the co-sponsors, the draft resolution contained in document A/77/L.31 concerning the investigation into the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and the members of the party accompanying him.
We are grateful to all the delegations that have joined us in this endeavour, and I would like to thank all co-sponsors, which are now close to a hundred, for their support.
Since 2015, Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman has overseen major progress in the investigation. First as chair of the Independent Panel of Experts and thereafter as the Secretary-General’s Eminent Person. His latest report, published earlier this year, is substantial and presents valuable new information. We express our sincere gratitude to the Eminent Person and his team for their dedicated work. We also thank all Member States that have collaborated with and contributed to the investigation.
The Eminent Person’s latest report sheds light on important new information, generated from research in both private and public archives. This information enabled the Eminent Person to make probative assessments regarding the crash, that fateful night in Ndola 61 years ago. The Eminent Person concludes that it remains plausible that an external attack or threat was a cause of the crash.
The report also points to specific matters that warrant further follow-up. In light of this, and in firm support of the Secretary-General’s recommendations on the way forward, Sweden, together with our many partners, is introducing the draft resolution before you today.
The resolution has eight operational elements, and I would like to highlight a few of them here.
Operational paragraph one requests the Secretary-General to reappoint the Eminent Person to continue his work. This extensive investigation benefits from continuity. We firmly believe that no one is better placed than Chief Justice Othman to continue the investigation and we also believe that it is possible to make continued progress over the next mandate. We therefore also request the Eminent Person to draw conclusions from the investigation by the end of the seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly.
But this requires full cooperation by Member States. Operational paragraph two and three therefore specifically request those Member States referred to in the report to release any relevant records in their possession and to cooperate fully with and assist the Eminent Person – including by appointing without delay independent and high-ranking officials to determine whether relevant information exists within their security, intelligence and defence archives.
Operational paragraph four lends more support to the Eminent Person’s request to Member States to assist him, on a voluntary basis, with specific tasks that the Eminent Person deems useful for the continued investigation.
In his report, the Eminent Person states that almost all new information generated between 2020 and 2022 came from individual researchers and non-State entities. Operational paragraph five thus calls upon Member States to encourage individuals and private entities to ensure that any relevant records related to the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, and of the members of the party accompanying him, are made available for review by the Eminent Person.
Operational paragraph six relates to making material from the conducted investigations available online, following an initial request from the General Assembly in 2016. That work has been initiated by the Secretariat, and this paragraph is intended to further strengthen that process.
Since the draft resolution contains a small programme budget implication, adoption will take place once the Fifth Committee has considered this matter later this month. In the meantime, the list of co-sponsors will remain open, and we encourage all Member States who have not done so yet to join us. We thank our partners again for their continued support.
We trust that the resolution, like previous years, will be adopted without a vote and we count on the full cooperation of all Member States in its implementation.
The United Nations and all its Member States must continue to do everything possible to determine what happened with the “Albertina”. We owe it to the families of those who perished more than 60 years ago, and we owe it to the United Nations as an organization. It is our shared responsibility.
Sweden is very proud of Dag Hammarskjöld and the work he did as Secretary-General of the United Nations. He was a man who believed strongly in the equal rights of nations, large and small. He was a champion of peace with an extraordinary sense of duty and vision. He was a spiritual man with great integrity. He had faith in people, and above all he had faith in this organization. To honour his legacy, I hope we can renew our commitment to multilateralism and strengthen the United Nations.
I thank you, Mr. President.