wikileaks: Ban Ki-moon secretly worked with Israel to undermine UN report into Gaza war crimes

1.  (C)   Ambassador Rice spoke with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon three times on May 4 to discuss concerns over the Board of Inquiry's report on incidents at UN sites in December 2008 and January 2009.  Rice called the Secretary-General to register concern about the scope of the report.  She cited in particular recommendations 10 and 11, saying it set a bad precedent if the report of a Board of Inquiry expands beyond its terms of reference.  Given that those recommendations were outside the scope of the Board's terms of reference, she asked that those two recommendations not be included in the summary of the report that would be transmitted to the membership.  The Secretary-General said he was constrained in what he could do since the Board of Inquiry is independent; it was their report and recommendations and he could not alter them, he said. 

2.  (C) Ambassador Rice urged the Secretary-General to make clear in his cover letter when he transmits the summary to the Security Council that those recommendations exceeded the scope of the terms of reference and no further action is needed.  The Secretary-General said his staff was working with an Israeli delegation on the text of the cover letter. Ambassador Rice asked the Secretary-General to be back in touch with her before the letter and summary are released to the Council. 

3.  (C) Ambassador Rice spoke with the Secretary-General two additional times.  In the second conversation, she underscored the importance of having a strong cover letter that made clear that no further action was needed and would close out this issue.  Secretary-General Ban called her after the letter had been finalized to report that he believed they had arrived at a satisfactory cover letter.  Rice thanked the Secretary-General for his exceptional efforts on such a sensitive issue. 



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