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Annan scales back requests to fund Sierra Leone special court

Annan scales back requests to fund Sierra Leone special court

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has scaled back his requests for financing of a special court for Sierra Leone, citing continued shortfalls in receiving funds and pledges for the first three years of its operation.

In a letter to the President of the Security Council released today, the Secretary-General says that last month the Secretariat presented to interested countries revised estimates for the Court's funding needs, amounting to some $57 million for its first three years of work, including about $16.8 million for the first year.

The Secretary-General had proposed last October the establishment of a Special Court for Sierra Leone to try persons deemed most responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations of international humanitarian law. He said at the time that he would proceed with establishing such a Court only after he had received contributions to finance the first year of its operation and pledges sufficient to fund the next 24 months, which were estimated at $30.2 million and $84.4 million, respectively.

As of 6 July, the Secretariat has received indications of contributions in funds for the Court's first year amounting to about $15 million, and pledges for the following two years for approximately $20.4 million, the letter says.

Accordingly, the Secretary-General says he intends to circulate a letter to countries that have made pledges, asking them to deposit contributions within 30 days for the Court's first-year costs to a Trust Fund.

Once the Court is established, the letter says, "Member States have a responsibility to ensure that sufficient resources are available to secure the completion of proceedings against those indicted."