Press release from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Mathias Mossberg to be appointed Inquiry Chair to assist the United Nations’ Hammarskjöld investigation


Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström will appoint former Ambassador Mathias Mossberg as Inquiry Chair to ensure that all relevant information in Swedish archives has reached the UN investigation into the death of Dag Hammarskjöld. Ambassador Mossberg will submit his report in autumn 2018.

"The UN and all its Member States must do everything they can to ascertain what actually happened in connection with Dag Hammarskjöld's death in Ndola in 1961. We owe it to the families of those who died almost 57 years ago, to the United Nations as an organisation and to all those who work in Dag Hammarskjöld's spirit today," says Ms Wallström.

Investigation into the death of Dag Hammarskjöld

Since 2014, following the emergence of new information in the case, Sweden has pursued resolutions in the UN General Assembly to advance the Hammarskjöld investigation. These resolutions have been adopted by consensus and have had broad support from the membership.

One result of this was that the investigation was resumed in 2015, having been dormant since 1962.

Major progress has been made since then in the investigation. The most important conclusion that the independent investigator (Eminent Person pursuant to General Assembly resolution 71/260) Mohamed Chande Othman, former Chief Justice of Tanzania, has drawn is that it is plausible that an external attack or threat may have caused the crash. Mr Othman has also drawn the conclusion that there is still classified information relevant to the case in intelligence and security service archives, and that the lack of access to all relevant documentation is the greatest obstacle to finally ascertaining what happened.

Based on Mr Othman's latest report in September 2017 and Secretary-General Guterres's recommendations for the path ahead, Sweden pushed for a resolution this autumn to take on board the investigator's recommendations and stake out the next steps. The resolution was adopted by consensus on 24 December 2017.

The resolution extended Mr Othman's mandate and urges Member States and the UN to make all relevant documentation on the matter available and suspend any secrecy provisions or in other ways facilitate access to classified information, as the event occurred more than fifty years ago.

The resolution also calls on all relevant Member States to appoint senior independent officials to conduct internal reviews of intelligence, security and defence archives to determine whether further relevant information exists. The Government's Inquiry Chair will be responsible for this undertaking.


Facts: Mathias Mossberg

Ambassador Mossberg has a solid background as an investigator and was principal secretary in the 2001 inquiry ‘Perspectives on the submarine question’ and the 2002 security policy inquiry ‘Peace and security’. He has served as a diplomat in Moscow, New York, Amman, London, Geneva and Rabat, and as Head of the Policy Analysis Office at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He holds a Master of Laws from Uppsala University, and has studied at the College of Europe in Bruges and the Institute of Higher International Studies in Geneva.

Press contact

Erik Wirkensjö
Press Secretary to Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00