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Cablegate: Guidance On Special Tribunal for Lebanon

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #1070 0041935
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041926Z JAN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 0000
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 0000
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0000

UNCLAS STATE 001070

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC LE PTER
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE ON SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON
MANAGEMENT ISSUES

REF: USUN 1185

1. (SBU) This cable provides guidance requested in reftel
on management issues for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon,
including decision-making in the Management Committee,
relocation of Lebanese judges, and security-related expenses
for judges.

2. (SBU) Management Committee Terms of Reference:
Department requests USUN continue to press for
consensus-based decision making in the Management Committee.
The U.S. shares the group's concern that one country could
hold up the decisions of the Committee; however, we find that
consensus "to every extent possible" is not specific enough
to allow the U.S. to agree. This language does not spell out
how decisions would be made in the absence of consensus nor
does it provide adequate protection to ensure that U.S. tax
payers do not fund programs approved over the objection of
the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. prefers a consensus-based
decision-making model. Additionally, the U.S. prefers that
the management committee be located in New York.

3. (SBU) Terms and Conditions of Service for Judges and
Personnel: The U.S. supports providing the Lebanese judges
and all Tribunal staff a benefits package that will help
ensure the retention of key personnel already working for
UNIIIC but that also maximizes efficiency. Specifically,
Department prefers Model III, which we believe to be the most
generous and efficient package (note: Under Model III staff
are appointed to each duty station -- Beirut and The Hague --
separately, and conditions and service of all staff will
follow the framework of the UN 100 series staff rules. End
note.)

4. (SBU) Relocation of Judges: One of the United States'
main priorities in the operationalization of the Special
Tribunal for Lebanon is the safety and security of all
personnel involved, especially the Lebanese judges. The
United States fully recognizes the sacrifice these
individuals are making and the real risk for them and their
families. The U.S. supports the UN's plans to relocate the
Lebanese judges outside of Lebanon and to notify the
governments of the international judges so that those
governments can make appropriate arrangements for their
citizens.

5. (SBU) Security-Related Expenses for Judges and Key
Tribunal Personnel: The U.S. believes that the safety of the
judges and key staff is vital and that judges and key
Tribunal staff should receive appropriate security from the
Tribunal itself rather than being responsible for their own
security needs. We prefer this expense to be a dedicated
budget line in the larger Tribunal budget. There are two
outstanding security issues:

-- Security for key personnel in The Hague: if the Dutch
offer to provide external security includes only security at
the Tribunal facilities, then the U.S. would like UN security
personnel, in conjunction with relevant authorities in the
Netherlands, to develop proposals and cost estimates for
securing all judges and key personnel (and their families, as
necessary) while outside of the Tribunal facilities in the
Hague for the Management Committee to review.

-- Security for the property/families of the Lebanese judges
in Lebanon: the U.S. understands the concerns of the
Lebanese judges about securing their property in Lebanon and
protection of family members who remain in Lebanon; however,
this justified concern should not be used as a means to
secure additional cash payments for the Lebanese judges. The
U.S. cannot support a solution to this if it includes direct
financial payments to the judges. The UN should work with
the Government of Lebanon to develop an arrangement that
would address the judges' security needs without setting
precedents for other Tribunals or giving the appearance of
impropriety.

6. (SBU) Oversight: The Department considers it crucial
that the tribunal is accountable, transparent, and seeks to
maximize the efficient and effective use of donor resources.
Efforts should concentrate heavily on creating a tribunal
with guidelines and structures that support these goals.
USUN should inquire whether the Office of Internal Oversight
Services or the UN Board of Auditors, as well as the Ethics
Office, could play a role. USUN should also seek language in
the Terms of Reference that holds all Court personnel
accountable to the Management Committee for the effective and
efficient use of resources. Note, in the future as members
of the Management Committee, USUN should encourage the
Tribunal to publish an annual report and develop reporting
requirements to focus attention on the work and results of
the Tribunal given the critical nature of the Tribunal and
its importance to regional stability.

7. (U) Department appreciates post's efforts to ensure that
the UN is able to rapidly declare the Tribunal operational
and prompt reporting on key developments.
RICE

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