The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General has received the initial progress report he requested from the Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident. As expected, this first report is largely procedural in nature. Based on the two initial meetings of the Panel, held on 10-11 August and 2-3 September, the report explains to the Secretary-General the Panel’s understanding of the tasks at hand and the working methods it has unanimously adopted in order to carry out its mandate. The Panel reports that proceedings have been conducted in a positive and collegial manner.
The Secretary-General noted that members of the Panel agreed unanimously that the Panel 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. The Panel reported that where it considers it necessary to obtain information from other affected States, it may request such information through appropriate diplomatic channels. The Panel agreed that in 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 was heartened that the Panel unanimously reported it had the means available to it to respond to the high international concern that has been expressed concerning the flotilla incident.
The Secretary-General looks forward to the 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.
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.