Sok An, UN Delegates Discuss Khmer Rouge Tribunal Funding

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An on Monday met with members of a high-level U.N. delegation to discuss the work and financial future of the cash-strapped Khmer Rouge tribunal, with the government pledging $1.1 million to cover the salaries of national staff for the first quarter of the year, according to a joint statement Tuesday.

In November, the court’s proposed budget said it would need $58.8 million to see it through to the end of 2015, with $12.4 million needed for the national component over that period. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also asked the General Assembly in October to approve a grant of up to $51.1 million for the court to dip into if funds from the Cambodian government or donor countries are not forthcoming.

“The Deputy Prime Minister agreed that the Royal Government of Cambodia will be able to provide $1.1 million to cover the salaries of [Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia] national personnel, including judicial officers, for the first quarter of 2014, and that Cambodia will support the current proposal in the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly at its meeting in March 2014 to approve a subvention to the ECCC from U.N. assessed contributions,” the joint statement says.

“On this basis, the U.N. high level delegation agreed that [the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Expert on the U.N. Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials] Ambassador David Scheffer would devote maximum efforts, working with representatives of the RGC, to mobilize further funds towards the 2014 budget of the national component of the ECCC,” it adds.

The U.N. delegation is being led by Under‐Secretary‐General for Legal Affairs Miguel de Serpa Soares, who is the U.N.’s legal counsel. With him are Assistant Secretary‐General and U.N. Controller Maria Eugenia Casar and Mr. Scheffer.

The statement says Mr. An also vowed to provide a “clear roadmap towards a completion strategy for the ECCC,” which has delivered a conviction in one case and is in the process of trying senior Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has been vocal about his opposition to the court continuing its work beyond the completion of the current case.

© 2014, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.