|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5708th Meeting* (PM)
SECURITY COUNCIL STATEMENT WELCOMES START OF TAYLOR TRIAL, URGES INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY TO HELP SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE IN FINAL STAGE OF ITS WORK
Welcoming the start of former Liberian President Charles Taylor’s trial, convened in The Hague on 4 June, and its recent judgments, the Security Council today urged the international community to provide financial support to the Special Court for Sierra Leone as it moved into the final stage of its work.
In a statement read out by Johan Verbeke ( Belgium), its President for June, the 15-member Council also urged States to support the Special Court by ensuring that the remaining fugitive indictee was brought before it, and through witness-relocation and sentence-enforcement arrangements.
While underlining its expectation that all organs of the Special Court would do their utmost to finish their work within the announced completion strategy, the Council also recognized the need for further arrangements to address residual matters after the completion of trials and appeals, including issues arising from long-term enforcement of sentences, the future trial of at-large indictees, witness protection and the preservation of archives.
Reiterating its strong support for the Special Court and commending the progress it had achieved, the Council particularly noted its contribution to strengthening stability in Sierra Leone and the subregion, and bringing an end to impunity.
As the second international war crimes tribunal established for Africa, the Special Court was mandated to try those bearing the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian and national law within Sierra Leone’s borders during that country’s civil war in the 1990s.
The meeting began at 1:05 p.m. and ended at 1:10 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2007/23 reads as follows:
“The Security Council expresses its warm appreciation to the President and Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone for their briefing during the debate of the Security Council on 8 June 2007.
“The Security Council reiterates its strong support for the Special Court and commends the progress the Special Court has achieved. The Security Council particularly notes the contribution of the Special Court to strengthening stability in Sierra Leone and the subregion and bringing an end to impunity.
“The Security Council welcomes the commencement of the trial of Charles Taylor on 4 June 2007 in The Hague, following the adoption of resolution 1688(2006). The Security Council also congratulates the Special Court on handing down its first trial judgment on 21 June 2007 in the AFRC case.
“The Security Council also acknowledges the Special Court’s progress towards achieving its completion strategy. The Security Council underlines its expectation that all organs of the Special Court will do their utmost to finish the work of the Court in accordance with the completion strategy.
“The Security Council urges the international community to continue to support the Special Court as it moves into its final stage of work, including by ensuring that the remaining fugitive indictee appears before the Court.
“The Security Council in particular takes note of the Special Court’s ongoing need for financial support. The Security Council emphasizes the vital need for further pledges of voluntary contributions in order to allow the Special Court to complete its mandate in a timely manner, and asks all United Nations Member States to consider making such pledges.
“The Security Council also notes the other varied challenges facing the Special Court as it works to fulfil its mandate, and urges States to consider supporting the Special Court by entering into appropriate arrangements with the Special Court for witness relocation and enforcement of sentences.
“The Security Council recognizes that further arrangements will be needed to address residual matters after trials and appeals are completed, including issues arising from long-term enforcement of sentences for convicted persons, the future trial of any indictees remaining at large, witness protection and the preservation of the archives of the Special Court.
“Finally, the Security Council commends the important outreach activities of the Special Court in bringing its judicial work to the attention of the people of Sierra Leone, and thereby contributing to the restoration of the rule of law throughout the country and region.”
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* The 5707th Meeting was closed.