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12 August 2010 – Members of the Secretary-General’s panel of inquiry into the Gaza flotilla incident on 31 May will meet again early next month after starting discussions this week on how they will carry out their work.
The four-member panel convened in New York for two days this week, meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as United Nations Secretariat bodies, according to a statement released by the UN chief’s spokesperson.
Mr. Ban “outlined the nature of the task he envisaged for them,” the statement noted, adding that the panellists then began their substantive discussions on how they will conduct their work.
The panel is not designed to determine individual criminal responsibility, but to examine and identify the facts, circumstances and the context of the incident involving the flotilla, which had departed Turkey and was bound for the Gaza Strip.
As part of that, the panel will receive and review the reports of national investigations into the incident and request clarifications and information as it needs from national authorities.
Today’s statement noted that the discussions this week “were conducted with good cooperation and in a positive atmosphere,” while administrative arrangements to support the panel’s work are either established or will be in place soon.
The former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer chairs the panel, while the ex-president of Colombia Alvaro Uribe serves as vice-chair. Joseph Ciechanover is the Israeli representative and Özdem Sanberk is the Turkish representative.
The panel is next scheduled to meet early next month and it is expected to deliver an interim report for Mr. Ban on 15 September.