|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-third General Assembly
103rd Meeting (AM)
GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESCHEDULES 60TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION OF PALESTINE REFUGEE
AGENCY, ADDS TO AGENDA REQUESTS FROM TRIBUNALS FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, RWANDA
The General Assembly today decided to hold on 24 September 2009 a high-level meeting to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Mindful of the need to ensure the participation of Member States at the ministerial level, the Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution by which it would reschedule the meeting from its original date, 1 October 2009, to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the presence of Heads of State and Government and other high-level political officials that traditionally gather at Headquarters for its annual general debate, which this year opens on 23 September.
In other action, the Assembly decided to include, at the request of the Secretary-General, two additional items on its current agenda, respectively on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Those items would be considered directly in plenary meeting.
Guiding the Assembly’s decision was a letter from the Secretary-General (document A/63/238), which asks the Assembly, as the body that elects judges to both courts, to urgently consider a request by the President of the Yugoslav Tribunal to: (a) expand the membership of the Appeals Chamber by authorizing the President to redeploy four permanent judges from the Trial Chambers to the Appeals Chamber; (b) extend the term of office of the judges of the International Tribunal; and (c) authorize the International Tribunal temporarily to exceed the statutory maximum number of ad litem judges serving at the Tribunal.
The Assembly was also urged to consider several requests by the President of the Rwanda Tribunal. The first was to: (a) expand the membership of the Appeals Chamber by authorizing the President to redeploy four permanent judges from the Trial Chambers to the Appeals Chamber; (b) extend the term of office of judges of the International Criminal Tribunal; (c) allow two judges to engage in another professional occupation in his home country and to work part-time while drafting his final judgement; and (d) that the Tribunal be allowed to recruit an additional ad litem judge from among the former permanent judges of the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia or ad litem judges who have not yet been assigned to any case.
Finally, the Secretary-General tells the Assembly that the President of the Rwanda Tribunal had informed him that the Russian Federation intended to replace Judge Sergei Aleckseevich Egorov (Russian Federation) when he resigns from the Tribunal. The President requested that, though he is to be replaced, Judge Egorov should be permitted to continue to serve at the Tribunal until the completion of the cases to which he was assigned.
The Tribunal would, therefore, have two permanent judges from the Russian Federation serving at the same time. The President, therefore, requests that the Assembly consider derogating from the statutory prohibition against two judges of the same nationality serving at the Tribunal at the same time.
The Assembly will meet again at a time and date to be announced.
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