Statement on the Agenda Item 143 and 144: International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, before the Fifth Committee, in the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Ambassador Joseph H. Melrose, Jr.
Senior Advisor 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
December 10, 2009


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My delegation would like to thank Mr. Jun Yamazaki, Controller, for introducing the Financial Performance Reports and the Revised Estimates for the ICTR and ICTY, and the Revised Estimates Arising in Respect to Security Council Resolution 1800: on the appointment of ad litem judges.  I would also like to thank Vice Chairman of the ACABQ, Mr. Collen Kelapile, for introducing the Committee’s reports on these matters.

Mr. Chairman, at the outset, the United States would like to convey our full support and respect for the work of the ICTY and the ICTR.  The United States has been a leading financial and political supporter of the Tribunals.  United States’ support has included seconded personnel, substantial monetary and in-kind contributions, information-sharing arrangements, and diplomatic support.  We have encouraged Tribunal officials to continue the swift pace of trials in order to come as close as possible to meeting the UN Security Council-endorsed Completion Strategy of finishing all trials and appeals by 2010. 

My delegation notes the Second Performance Reports of the ICTY as contained in document A/64/512 and ICTR as contained in document A/64/555.  My delegation also notes the Secretary-General’s report containing the revised estimates for the ICTY as contained in A/64/476 and ICTR as contained in A/64/478.  My delegation has carefully considered these reports and supports the recommendations made by the ACABQ on these matters.  We are pleased to see the proposed adjustments in posts and resources consistent with the intended reduction in trial activity during the biennium. 

 My delegation recognizes that the issue of funding after-service health insurance and pension liabilities for permanent judges needs to be addressed as the Tribunal activities are phased out and we support the ACABQ recommendation in this regard that the approach used for the Tribunals should be consistent with that of the United Nations  more broadly in relation to these liabilities by including only those resources required to cover current costs in the context of the biennial budget.

My delegation is also pleased that there continues to be coordination across the Tribunals in developing a strategy and project plan for transferring activities to the proposed residual mechanism and looks forward to seeing further action taken to ensure the transition is implemented as effectively as possible. 
We look forward to working on this matter with our colleagues in the Committee.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


PRN: 2009/312