Tribunal Official Back From ‘Fruitful’ Meeting

Khmer Rouge tribunal Public Affairs Chief Helen Jarvis returned Monday from a week of budget discussions with donor states and UN officials in New York.

The meeting with representatives from 20 interested states was, she said, “fruitful.”

The court’s delegation, led by Director of Administration Sean Visoth also had “productive” technical discussions with Under­secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel, the UN’s Controller Warren Sach, and the secretary-general’s new Khmer Rouge tribunal adviser, David Tolbert, Jarvis said.

“Our concern is to keep the budget as low as it can be while attaining the objective of our mission,” she said, adding that the court and donors were working through whether “further economies” could be made as well as trying to establish a more precise timeline for the tribunal.

She declined to name which states were represented at Thursday’s meeting, on the grounds that the meeting was a closed session.

Donors, she said, were pleased with the positive results of a recent special review of the court, conducted at the behest of the European Commission. Those results will be released next week, not April 4 as had been planned, because of a scheduling conflict, Jarvis said.

No date has yet been set to launch the court’s long-delayed fundraising drive, but Jarvis said the Cambodian side of the court will be able to stretch its remaining funds through May, instead of April, as had been previously announced. No funding stopgap has been publicly planned.

“We’re working on the assumption we’ll have clarity before that date,” Jarvis said.

A new UN senior court management officer, whom she declined to name, will start work in a few weeks, she said. The court has been trying to fill that position for a year, she added.

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