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Cablegate: Canadian Views On Un System of Internal Justice

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PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0700 1441735
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231735Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7906
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS OTTAWA 000700

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNGA AORC APER UNGA UNGA UNGA CA
SUBJECT: CANADIAN VIEWS ON UN SYSTEM OF INTERNAL JUSTICE

REF: STATE 51372

1. (SBU) In response to May 15 demarche (reftel) by PolMinCouns to
the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's Director
General for International Organizations Ferry de Kerckhove, Senior
Policy Advisor Shannon-Marie Soni on May 23 provided the following
comments, which she said had been prepared in consultation with the
Canadian mission to the UN in New York:

Begin text
-- We agree that reform of the UN's system of internal justice is
of tremendous importance.
-- The member states need to get the reform right. Canada, within
the CANZ group, has always maintained that a properly functioning,
efficient and transparent system underpins all our efforts to
strengthen accountability, oversight and human resources management
reforms. Both management and staff need to be confident that the
new system will operate fairly and efficiently.
-- We do not oppose setting up the mechanisms now that are crucial
for the proper functioning of the Administration of Justice system,
and returning to other parts at a later date. But we also recognise
that we will have to work with all partners to ensure that their
concerns are also addressed. This is likely to mean making a
genuine commitment to return to some issues, such as scope, at a
fixed future date.
-- On the scope of the new system, we agree that individuals who
are not staff of the UN or its Funds & Programmes do not enjoy the
same rights or conditions of service as UN staff, and thus, should
not have recourse to the same system of internal justice. At the
same time, we also agree that these individuals should have recourse
to an appropriate mechanism to protect the rights they have. We
recognize that some delegations have raised concerns with the
current access non-staff personnel within the United Nations
Organization have to an appropriate system of justice and associated
remedies. Therefore, we see merit in setting out a time frame for
review of the scope of the statute, at a future date, to see if
adjustments are necessary.
-- We also agree that one judge is sufficient at this stage. Again,
this can be reviewed at a later date and tweaked if necessary.
-- We believe the issue of awarding costs should be discussed
further. Cost awards can provide an important incentive to parties
to act reasonably, and also a possible means to address the question
of "equality of arms" raised by many delegations that is an
alternative to creating a large office of staff legal assistance.

-- The informal consultations chaired last week by Germany were, in
our view, helpful, particularly with the participation of
Qour view, helpful, particularly with the participation of
secretariat officials in some meetings which helped to clarify the
rationale behind certain drafting choices.
-- There are important substantive issues outstanding, but there
may also be a number of differing approaches on the table that
simply reflect delegations bringing experience from their own
national legal systems to the negotiations. It will be important to
seek reasonable compromises in these instances, in order to find a
balance among various preferences.
End text
WILKINS

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