( dpa ) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday an international panel will work out measures to better protect UN staff working around the world after the UN office in Algiers was blown up last month by suicide bombers, killing 17 staff members.
Ban dismissed questions that he doubted an internal investigation on the December 11 attacks on the UN premises in Algiers and called instead for international experts to look into the issues of safety and security for UN personnel.
"It's not because of doubt," Ban told reporters. "We have had some internal investigations on this issue, but at this time we'd like to engage other member states and international experts on this issue and try to find some more facts, measures and what we can do more to strengthen our measures against all possible attacks against the UN."
The interim report written by the top UN safety and security chief David Veness on the Algiers attack was kept confidential, but it was found that the report did not go far enough, said UN spokesperson Michelle Montas said. She said the new panel will be assisted by international experts from outside the UN system.
The UN said there was no advanced warning about the twin attacks against the office of the UN Development Programme in Algiers, which also housed other agencies like the UN Children's Fund and World Food Programme.
The attacks killed 14 Algerians, one Dane, one Filipino and one Senegalese, all of them UN staff. A total of 40 people were injured.
It was the second deadliest attack on the UN since August, 2003, when the office of the UN mission in Baghdad was bombed, killing a total of 22 UN personnel, including the mission's chief Sergio Vieira de Mello.
Montas said the panel was being formed and its members will be known once completed.
"The secretary general fully recognizes the global reality of the environments in which the UN operates and the need to work actively with member states' support to improve the security of the staff," she said.
Montas said threats of violence against the UN had been received in the past, but no warning had been made in the case of the Algiers attacks.
The UN refused to say whether the office of UN agencies in Algiers had met security requirements. The report by Veness had been withheld from the media.
Following the massive bombing attack in Baghdad, an internal investigation conducted by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari found that UN safety and security measures had been very dysfunctional.