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International damage claims expert to serve on Vienna-based UN body

International damage claims expert to serve on Vienna-based UN body

Oscar de Rojas
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has decided to appoint Ronald J. Bettauer of the United States to the three-member Board of the United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (UNRoD).

Mr. Bettauer, a prominent international expert in all aspects of damage claims processing and registration, will replace Michael Raboin who died in April of this year, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

He will serve in his personal capacity on the Board, tasked with the overall responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of the Register – which was called for by the General Assembly in a 2004 resolution, after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concluded that Israel violated various international laws by constructing the barrier, which destroyed homes, businesses and agriculture.

As a policymaking organ, the Board would establish the rules and regulations governing the work of the office of the Register, determine eligibility criteria, categories of damage and the procedure of registration of claims, and have the ultimate authority in determining the inclusion of damage claims in the Register.

The Board, which also includes Harumi Hori of Japan and Matti Paavo Pellonpää of Finland, is expected to meet again next month in Vienna to proceed with its work.

Also today, Mr. Ban decided to appoint Oscar de Rojas of Venezuela as the Executive Secretary of the follow-up meeting to the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey, Mexico.

The meeting, to be held from 29 November to 2 December 2008 in the Qatari capital, Doha, will assess progress made since the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus – a series of measures to help impoverished countries and promote economic growth around the globe.

Mr. de Rojas is currently the Director of the Financing for Development Office in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.