The United Nations General Assembly has authorized a subvention of US$ 15.5 million to the international component of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
The subvention is to be considered a reserve, which supplements the voluntary donations made to the international component of the court for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2014. It enables the United Nations to enter into contracts with international staff members at the ECCC for a duration up to one year. The subvention can only be drawn upon if there are insufficient funds available through voluntary donations.
It was the UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon who requested the General Assembly to authorize the subvention in response to the increased financial difficulties and funding shortfalls which the ECCC has experienced during the last years. In his request the Secretary-General wrote that “it is critical for the international community to ensure that the Extraordinary Chambers have the required financial means to ensure accountabilityfor the shocking crimes perpetrated during the former Khmer Rouge regime”. He further added that “[the] financial failure of the Court would be a tragedy for the people of Cambodia, who have waited a long time for justice, and would constitute a serious setback to the international community’s fight against impunity".
While authorizing the subvention as an exceptional measure, the General Assembly also called upon all United Nations member states to provide funds for both the international and national components of the ECCC, and requested that the Secretary-General intensify his efforts to obtain additional voluntary contributions, including by broadening the donor base, for funding the future activities of the ECCC.
The General Assembly requested that the Secretary-General prepare a report which includes a comprehensive examination of the future financing of the ECCC to be presented at its next session, and to ensure that the ECCC prepares a completion strategy with a clear road map.
Although the subvention stabilizes the financial situation for the international component of the ECCC, there is still a shortage of funds for the national component. The Secretary- General’s Special Expert on the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trial, Ambassador David Scheffer, is working closely together with representatives of the Cambodian government to raise funds to meet the funding shortfall on the national side.
More information (from the website of the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials):
- Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 9 April 2014, authorizing a subvention to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
- Request for a subvention to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia - report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
- Request for a subvention to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia