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Cablegate: Lebanon Tribunal: Management Committee Tackles

VZCZCXRO9270
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHTRO RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0220/01 0672326
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 072326Z MAR 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3877
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE 9000

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000220

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER UNSC LE SY
SUBJECT: LEBANON TRIBUNAL: MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE TACKLES
KEY ISSUES

REF: A. USUN 198
B. USUN/IO EMAIL (WILCOX/REINEMEYER) 03/06/08
C. USUN/IO EMAIL (WILCOX/REINEMEYER) 03/07/08
D. USUN 171
E. STATE 1070
F. USUN/IO EMAIL (WILCOX/REINEMEYER) 12/11/07
G. USUN/IO EMAIL (WILCOX/REINEMEYER) 12/07/07

1. (SBU) BEGIN SUMMARY: The UN's efforts to make the
Special Tribunal for Lebanon operational continue to move
forward, with the Management Committee's adoption of terms
and conditions of service for the judges of the Tribunal and
decision in principle on the terms and conditions of service
for staff at its March 6 meeting. (Committee members'
discussions concerning other issues relating to the judges
will be reported septel.) The UN provided the Committee with
additional details on proposed costs associated with building
a courtroom and ten holding cells, installing additional
security measures, equipping the courtroom with information
technology, and otherwise refurbishing the building the Dutch
government is providing for the Tribunal. Assistant
Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Larry Johnson also

SIPDIS
reported that the Secretary-General's appointment of the
Registrar is "imminent," and, on the margins of the meeting,
the UN updated USUN on contributions to the Tribunal. END
SUMMARY.

Terms and Conditions of Service for Judges, Staff
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. (SBU) On March 6, the Management Committee for the
Special Tribunal for Lebanon adopted terms and conditions of
service for the judges of the Tribunal (refs A and B). Among
other things, the judges' salaries would take into account
decisions of the UN General Assembly relating to other
international tribunals and courts. As such, in line with
the revised annual salary system established by GA resolution
61/262 (2005), applicable to permanent judges of the
International Court of Justice and International Criminal
Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) who will begin new terms of
office after January 1, 2007, the judges would receive base
salaries of USD 136,130 per year (or USD 220,939 with the
post adjustment). The judges also would be entitled to
benefits including an education grant equivalent to that of
UN officials, payment of travel expenses and subsistence
allowance, and annual and sick leave. For more on the
appointment of judges, see septel.

3. (SBU) Committee members also agreed in principle that the
terms and conditions of staff would follow the third of four
models the UN had proposed (refs D-G), but sought additional
information on the costs of providing pension benefits to
staff, as Dutch law requires. UN Office of Legal Affairs
consultant Robin Vincent and UN human resources experts said
the UN is proposing to satisfy the Dutch social security
requirements by having the Tribunal join the UN Joint Staff
Pension Fund (ref D). Doing so would have the advantage of
facilitating the Tribunal's absorption of staff members of
the International Independent Investigation Commission
(UNIIIC), who are already covered by the UN Joint Staff
Pension Fund. Although the Tribunal could satisfy Dutch law
in another way, such as by contracting with a company to set
up a comparable system, UN representatives noted that doing
so was unlikely to reduce costs. For instance, the
Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons has used
an outside company to satisfy Dutch legal requirements, but
has found that mechanism to be costly and cumbersome.

Registrar
---------

4. (SBU) Johnson advised the Committee that the
Secretary-General's appointment of the Registrar is

SIPDIS
"imminent" and should be announced in the next few days.
Comment: Appointment of the Registrar will mark a
significant milestone, since among the Registrar's
responsibilities will be tasks such as opening up a separate
Tribunal account and directing the construction/refurbishment
work on the building that will house the Tribunal. End
Comment.

Building
--------

5. (SBU) Vincent reported that Committee members'
representatives in The Hague had toured the future Tribunal
building on March 6. The Legal Adviser and Management
Counselor from Embassy The Hague toured the premises and will

USUN NEW Y 00000220 002 OF 002


be reporting on the visit separately. Vincent has arranged
for German construction/budgetary experts to tour the
building next week so they can assess the proposals for
refurbishing the building. Vincent also provided updated
cost breakdowns on the construction/refurbishment package
(ref C).

Contributions
-------------

6. (SBU) OLA has advised USUN that its records show that the
UN has received new contributions to the Tribunal from France
(USD 1,925,300) and Hungary (USD 10,000) and that Sweden has
pledged USD 156,494. As of March 6, OLA's figures indicate
that the UN has USD 29.4 million in hand and USD 16.3 million
in pledges. That figure is almost equal to the USD 50
million that the UN estimates the Tribunal will need for its
first year and start-up costs. Separately, OLA has advised
that it has received indications from "sources outside New
York" that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would contribute
USD 5 million (ref C), and the UN Office of the Controller
advised USUN that it received a letter from Kuwait earlier
this week, pledging to contribute USD 5 million. The UN is
following up with the missions of Kuwait and the UAE
concerning their planned contributions.

Next Meeting
------------

7. (SBU) The Committee will meet on March 13 to make a final
decision on the terms and conditions of service for staff.
USUN expects the Committee will decide upon the proposed
package for refurbishing the Tribunal building and installing
security equipment and information technology for the
courtroom. The package is estimated to cost USD 13.5 million.
KHALILZAD

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