New York, 28 March 2005 - Secretary-General's message to the pledging conference for United Nations assistance to the Khmer Rouge trials (delivered by Mr. Warren Sach, Director, Programme Planning and Budget Division, OPPD/DM)I am pleased to welcome you to this pledging conference, and I thank you for your attendance today.
After many years of negotiations, the legal framework to establish Extraordinary Chambers within the existing court structure of Cambodia for the prosecution of crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea is now in place.
If that framework is to be put into practice, Member States will need to be generous with voluntary contributions.
We in the Secretariat have done a great deal of careful planning and costing, about which we have kept the General Assembly informed. We have, throughout, consulted with the Government of Cambodia, and sent a number of technical missions to the country. We have also consulted with other key governments, and held some informal meetings with the Group of Interested States.
As a result of these consultations, I am pleased to inform you that the budgetary requirements for the anticipated three year life of the Chambers and their related institutions have been agreed between the Government of Cambodia and the United Nations.
The estimated total budget for the three years is 56.3 million dollars. Of that amount, the share of the United Nations, through voluntary contributions, would be 43 million dollars. The Government of Cambodia would provide the remaining 13.3 million dollars.
The process of setting up the Extraordinary Chambers can only begin once enough money has been raised to fund their staffing and operations. That condition would be met when pledges for the full three years have been received, along with actual contributions for the first year.
I therefore ask you to support the United Nations in assisting the Government and the people of Cambodia in the pursuit of justice and national reconciliation, stability, peace and security. Your generous support for this important endeavour will solidify the international commitment to protect and promote human rights in Cambodia.
The crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge were of a character and scale that it is still almost impossible to comprehend. The victims of those horrific crimes have waited too long for justice. By your generous contributions today, you can send a message that the international community will do its part to ensure that, however late, and however imperfect, impunity will not remain unchallenged, and a measure of justice will be done. That will be a precious and important gift to Cambodia.
Statements on 28 March 2005
- New York, 28 March 2005 - Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Secretary-General's meeting with NGOs on Darfur
- Hiroshima, Japan, 28 March 2005 - Secretary-General's message to UNITAR/IPS Conference on UN Peacekeeping and Nation-building (delivered by Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General)
- Seoul, Korea, 28 March 2005 - Secretary-General's message to the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (delivered by Mr. Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific)