New KR Tribunal Draft Budget To Be Unveiled in New York

A new, revised draft of the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s budget is to be presented to donors in New York next week, paving the way for the start of a long-awaited fundraising campaign, the court announced Friday.

Circulated this week among a smaller “steering committee” of a half dozen of the court’s financial contributors, the latest draft budget will be presented June 20 in New York to the wider group of donors and potential donors known as the Group of Interested States, the tribunal’s Public Affairs Chief Helen Jarvis said.

Pending donor review, the court declined Friday to release details about the budget proposal’s contents however a source familiar with the discussions said the proposal may divide funding for the court’s operations into two phases, with expenses for after 2009 accounted for separately.

After an initial draft in January called for an additional $114 million—over the court’s initial $56.3 million budget—for a further three years of operations, donors sent court officials back to the drawing board, to provide detailed justifications for the proposed spending increase.

“Over all the feeling was that it was too high and too long and that we should be trying as much as we can to speed up and keep costs down,” Jarvis said by telephone.

“Assiduously, both sides have been working, and together, to resolve matters,” she said.

Court and UN officials in April unveiled a human resources audit, which they said they hoped would allay concerns about mismanagement and alleged corruption.

A donor country representative who re­quested anonymity said Friday that, in addition to increased support for the court’s victim’s unit and translation services, his country hoped to budget for a court that would serve justice efficiently.

“Donor countries want to see this tribunal to work and to go on to deliver high standards of justice,” he said.

Australia and France have this year announced pledges totaling roughly $1.5 million and other donors say they are now considering pledge levels.

Tribunal Director of Ad­min­istration Sean Visoth said last month that in the interests of time, the court’s budget should fund the prosecutions of the five current detainees.

 

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