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Cablegate: Lebanon Tribunal: Experts From Key and Likely

VZCZCXRO5917
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #1184/01 3531710
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191710Z DEC 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3364
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 001184

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER UNSC SY LE
SUBJECT: LEBANON TRIBUNAL: EXPERTS FROM KEY AND LIKELY
DONORS MEET TO DISCUSS NEXT STEPS

REF: A. USUN 1150

B. USUN(WILCOX)-IO/UNP(REINEMEYER) E-MAILS--12/10/07
C. USUN 1138
D. USUN(WILCOX)-IO/UNP(REINEMEYER) E-MAIL-12/7/07
E. USUN 1059

1. SUMMARY: Following up on recent conversations held at
ambassadorial level among major and likely donors to the
Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) (see reftels), experts
from USUN, France, Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, as
well as Lebanese PermRep Salam and representatives of the UN
Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), met December 12 to discuss
actions that will be needed to operationalize the STL and to
establish a Management Committee in New York to oversee the
Tribunal's work. As instructed (ref b), USUN/Legal and
USUN/MR joined other donor delegations in "supporting in
principle" the arrangements under which the Dutch Government
will provide a building for use by the Tribunal (ref a).
Based on that endorsement, the UN has sent a letter to the
Dutch Government accepting the Dutch offer. However, no
decision was taken as yet on whether to authorize
refurbishment of the building based on a "basic package" of
USD 10 million, or whether to support an "upgraded package"
costing $16.4 million (ref a). USUN/MR indicated that
further itemization and clarification of expenses associated
with each approach were needed before any decision could be
taken.

2. SUMMARY (Continued): Donor experts also reviewed in
detail proposed terms of reference for a Management Committee
comprising representatives of the Government of Lebanon, the
Government of the Netherlands, and Member States which are
"important contributors" to the STL. At this stage, the
United States, France, Germany, and the UK would be the other
members , along with a representative of the SYG. Agreement
was reached on most issues in the draft ToR, which were based
on similar terms of reference governing the Sierra Leone
Special Court Management Committee, except decision-making
(USUN sought consensus, France and the UK advocated
"consensus, to every extent possible"). At USUN's
suggestion, language still to be developed for inclusion in
the ToR will attempt to hold the judges and other Court
personnel accountable to the Management Committee for
ensuring Court efficiency. Other meeting participants also
accepted another USUN proposal calling for the Management
Committee to ensure that the Special Tribunal is making
optimal use of resources contributed by donor states in an
"efficient, effective and accountable" manner. Experts also
began initial consideration of proposed conditions of service
for Tribunal judges and staff, but reached no conclusions.
END SUMMARY.

"Agreement in Principle" on
Use of Dutch Building
---------------------------

3. UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) Special Assistant Mark
Quarterman, who chaired the discussion, asked meeting
participants to approve the use of the AIVD Building in
Leidscherdam being offered by the Dutch as the proposed site
of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Quarterman said it was
imperative the UN communicate approval of the Dutch offer to
officials in The Hague so that GON officials can seek the
endorsement of the Dutch cabinet at a December 21 meeting.
USUN joined other delegations in "agreeing in principle" to
the Dutch offer, subject to the provision of detailed
information concerning the projected costs associated with
refurbishment of the Dutch Interior Ministry building for use
by the Tribunal. Quarterman read a draft letter that the SYG
would send to the Dutch, accepting the offer in principle,
after consultations with the major donors to the Tribunal.
USUN clarified that no authorization was being given as yet
concerning which option for building reconstruction should be
pursued -- the "basic package" approach costing approximately
$10 million for construction of a courtroom, holding cells,
security upgrade, and other modifications, or an "upgraded
package" costing $16.4 million that would remodel the
building as though it were new.

Proposed Terms of Reference
for Management Committee
---------------------------

4. Meeting participants next turned their attention to the
proposed terms of reference (ToR) for the STL Management
Committee, which would oversee the work of the Tribunal.
Quarterman said the ToR were modeled on those governing the
work of the Sierra Leone Special Court Management Committee.
(Note: The U.S. is a member of the SLSC MC. End note.)
Agreement was reached on setting an overall limit of ten

USUN NEW Y 00001184 002 OF 002


members on the Committee, similar to the Sierra Leone model.
Provision also was made to replace any member who might
withdraw from the Committee, as long as the proposed
replacement satisfies the criteria of being an "important
contributor" to the STL.

5. Participants did not reach consensus on proposed
decision-making by the Management Committee. USUN argued
that all decisions should be taken solely on the basis of
consensus, while France and the UK sought to clarify the
consensus approach by adding the phrase, "to every extent
possible," as was used in the ToR for the Sierra Leone
Management Committee. USUN noted that it would be
unacceptable for U.S. officials to permit others to decide
how funds voluntarily contributed by the USG should be spent.
In that regard, a consensus approach was mandatory. The
British and French acknowledged the U.S. concerns, but warned
that requiring consensus decisions in the Committee could
result in stalemate if one or more members disagreed with the
others as to a particular policy or course of action to be
pursued. The matter was left unresolved, pending further
discussion at the next donors' meeting.

6. Other participants reacted favorably to two USUN
proposals for the inclusion of additional Management
Committee functions - one that would hold the judges and
other Court personnel accountable to the Management Committee
for ensuring Court efficiency; and the other would task the
Management Committee with ensuring that the Special Tribunal
was making optimal use of resources contributed by donor
states in an "efficient, effective and accountable" manner.
Final endorsement of these and other suggested amendments to
the draft ToR is anticipated when donors reconvene for their
next meeting.

7. Experts also began initial consideration of proposed
terms of reference for the judges and other personnel needed
to manage the work of the Tribunal. OLA consultant Robin
Vincent, who once served as Registrar for the Sierra Leone
Special Court and who would appear to be a likely candidate
to be selected as the Registrar for the Special Tribunal,
described in more detail the four compensation models he had
previewed at the December 5 donors' meeting (refs C): one
that would provide a basic salary and lump sum amount without
most benefits ("Sierra Leone" model); a second that would
treat staff in The Hague and Beirut differently ("hybrid"
model); a third that would provide all staff with the same
entitlements, but treat those serving in The Hague
differently from those in Beirut (family vs non-family duty
stations); and a fourth that treated all staff as being based
in The Hague, enjoying the same entitlements, with those
working in Beirut considered to be on travel status. Vincent
noted that Dutch domestic laws required that 13 separate
social security requirements be met, either through
participation in the Dutch social security scheme, or through
a comparable program to be established by the Tribunal.
USUN, joined by representatives from Germany and the UK,
requested additional time to study the compensation proposals
before taking any decisions.

8. OLA U/SYG Michel has requested that donor state experts
meet December 18 to continue consideration of pending issues,
with a view to finalize as many decisions as possible. Donor
ambassadors also are scheduled to meet on December 18,
following the experts meeting.

Khalilzad

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