ECCC Reparations

This blog is designed to serve as a repository of analyses, news reports and press releases related to the issue of RERAPATIONS within the framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a.k.a. the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Khmer Rouge Tribunal unveils new budget strategy

By Craig Guthrie
The Mekong Times
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal yesterday confirmed its new
budget request from donor nations will be US$143 million to keep the court running until 2010, of which US$105 million will go to the court's UN side, US$37.7 million to its Cambodian side and the rest to a contingency budget.

"It's not easy ... but we are quite optimistic that we can receive these funds," said the KRT's Director of Administration Sean Visoth at a press conference in Phnom Penh yesterday, adding that the court's initial budget request was "not well received."

The court met with do¬nors in January seeking
to increase the inadequate initial budget of US$56.3 million for 2005 - 2008 to US$170 million and an extension of the court's mandate until 2011, but donor's questioned the amount.

However, meetings be­tween a KRT delegation and the so-called Group of Interested States (GIS) and the UN Secretariat in New York last week were "productive," and were held in "a most construc¬tive atmosphere," said a KRT statement.

The KRT and the GIS agreed that the budget for the tribunal will be split into two stages, with an initial US$50.3 million—US$39.5 million for the UN and US$10.8 million for the Cambodian side — needed for the court's process until the end of 2009.

Australia, France and Japan have already con tributed to this amount, leaving US$37.7 million needed by the UN and just US$6.1 million for the Cambodian side. "This time it seems the Cambo­dian side has money earli­er than the UN," said Sean Visoth happily.

The second phase re­quires a projected budget of US$37.9 million, which would allow the court to run until the end of 2010, and not 2011 as stated in the previous budget re­quest, although further budget requests will be made if necessary, court officials confirmed.

The 15 percent contin­gency budget is "to allow for unforeseen additional expenses," though some donors objected to its inclusion and the matter is currently under discussion at the UN in New York, added the KRT statement.

Knut Rosandhaug, the court's new deputy director of administration, played down the impact of the US$27 million reduction in the newly agreed budget. "The sacrifices [we have to make] are academic, and if we study the new budget closely our resources have actually increased across the board."

Although the amount is less overall, the court will not falter in deliver-ing justice to millions of
Khmer Rouge victims, he said. "Clearly we will need to be more efficient, and there will be more sweat, but there will be the same end product."

The court has decided to focus "on the matters at hand," which is raising the US$50 million it requires until the end of 2009, he said, appealing for Asian nations other than Japan — the KRT's largest con­tributor — to join the list of donors. "This is the first war crimes tribu­nal to be held in Asia, so Asian countries have a big responsibility."

Extracted from the Mekong Times
Issues No. 97
Wednesday, June 25, 2008


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