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Cablegate: Unga: Fifth Committee Discusses Financing

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DE RUCNDT #1182 3522104
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 172104Z DEC 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5546
INFO RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0010
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI PRIORITY 0304

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 001182

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/MPR AND S/WCI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AORC KWCI RW YI
SUBJECT: UNGA: FIFTH COMMITTEE DISCUSSES FINANCING
TRIBUNALS FOR RWANDA AND YUGOSLAVIA

1. Summary: On December 15 the UN General Assembly (UNGA)
Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) began
discussions of financing the international criminal
tribunals. African and European representatives endorsed the
Secretariat's calls for additional funding. The French
delegate (on behalf of the EU) expressed full support for the
tribunals and complained that this discussion should have
begun earlier. The representative of Rwanda (on behalf of
the African Group) welcomed the increasing number of
countries supporting the tribunals. All delegations agreed
on the need to forestall staff losses, but U.S. and Chilean
delegates disagreed on the proposal for a USD 5 million staff
retention bonus. The Cubans used the opportunity to push
back on the UN Security Council (UNSC) in favor of UNGA. End
Summary.

2. Sharon Van Buerle, Director of Program Planning and the
Budget Division, introduced the Financial Performance Reports
for the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY)
(A/63/558) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
(ICTR) (A/63/559) and the Revised Estimates for the tribunals
(A/63/513 and A/63/506) and the Revised Estimates Arising in
Respect to Security Council Resolution 1800 on the
appointment of ad litem judges (A/62/809). Chairman Susan
McLurg of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and
Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) introduced related reports. The
Rwandan and Chilean delegations expressed support for ACABQ
recommendations. The representative of France expressed
disappointment of the late release of the ACABQ reports and
reiterated that a fundamental duty of Member States is to
provide timely financial support for the tribunals.

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3. On staffing, the ACABQ urged more intensive efforts to
retain the specialized tribunal personnel. Most delegations
emphasized the vital nature of preserving adequate staffing
levels until the tribunals' mandates are fulfilled, keeping
in mind the UNSC-endorsed completion strategy. The
divergence is in the mechanism to encourage staff members to
stay. All parties agreed that the Committee must take swift
action to keep the tribunals functioning. The tribunals will
need more time for concluding trials, a now-impossible
deadline originally agreed upon for this month.

4. The representative of Cuba complained that the UNSC has
encroached upon UNGA's power of the purse by passing
Resolution 1800, allowing the Secretary-General to appoint
additional ad litem judges within existing resources. Cuba
argued that it was UNGA's role, and in particular the Fifth
Committee, and not that of the UNSC to address budgetary
matters.

5. USDel expressed support for the tribunals and noted
American financial contributions, personnel assistance and
information sharing. We expressed serious reservations about
some of the staff retention proposals, which would likely set
negative precedents. The EU concurs with USDel's position,
and would like to see efforts to retain staff which are
consistent with the common system. The G77 and China,
however, are more willing to provide a financial bonus to
retain staff. Full USDel remarks are available on Mission
web site, www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov.
Khalilzad

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