Press Releases

    SG/SM/9171
    27 February 2004

    United Nations “Disappointed” if Media Reports of British Spying True; Says such Acts Undermine Diplomatic Integrity, Confidentiality

    NEW YORK, 26 February (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    We have seen today’s media reports alleging that the Secretary-General’s phone conversations were tapped by British intelligence.  We would be disappointed if this were true.

    Such activities would undermine the integrity and confidential nature of diplomatic exchanges.  Those who speak to the Secretary-General are entitled to assume that their exchanges are confidential.

    The Secretary-General, therefore, would want this practice stopped, if indeed it exists.

    The Secretariat routinely takes technical measures to guard against such invasions of privacy, and those efforts will now be intensified.

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