Secretary-General condemns "deliberate downing of civilian aircraft"

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Jeffrey D. Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The Secretary-General has strongly condemned the apparently deliberate downing of a civilian aircraft flying over eastern Ukraine.

Jeffrey Feltman, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, shared the remarks during an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Friday.

Nearly 300 innocent people from many countries that are represented by Members of the Council were killed, including a staff member of the World Health Organization.

Mr Feltman said he was shocked to learn that two-thirds of the victims were Dutch and that 80 children perished on the flight.

"While the UN has at this point no independent verification of the circumstances regarding the tragic crash yesterday of a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane, the Secretary-General is alarmed at what seem to be credible, numerous reports that suggest that a sophisticated surface-to-air missile was used. The Secretary-General strongly condemns this apparently deliberate downing of a civilian aircraft. This horrifying incident serves as the starkest reminder of how dire the situation in eastern Ukraine has become — and how it affects countries and families well beyond Ukraine’s borders.”  (36″)

The Secretary-General has called for a full and transparent internal investigation into the crash.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized UN agency, and Ukrainian officials are discussing the possibility of putting together an international probe team.

Meanwhile, fighting between government forces and armed groups has intensified dangerously resulting in numerous casualties, Mr Feltman added.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’37″

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