2003 Statement


H.E. Mr. Yoshiyuki Motomura

Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan

On Item 131, "Financing of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda", and Item 132, "Financing of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia"

24 November 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I would like to thank the Controller, Mr. Halbwachs, for presenting the proposed budgets for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). I would also like to thank Ambassador Mselle, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for presenting the Committee's report.

Mr. Chairman,

This morning, I would like to focus on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

The Government of Japan has been sounding the alarm on the trend in recent years of growing budgets for both Tribunals. Japan has also insisted that, while speeding up of the trial process needs to be pursued at both Tribunals, the current budget levels need to be considered as the upper limit, taking into consideration the capacity of Member States to sustain such burden. We see that the proposed budget for ICTR for 2004/2005 is expanding significantly (23%) compared with the current biennium budget. My Government is not in a position to accept this budget as proposed.

There is strong necessity to discuss priority agenda for the United Nations in order for the Organization to function more effectively and efficiently, given the wide range of issues that the international community must tackle. Without such a discussion, would it be appropriate for us to allow a budget expansion of ICTR; an expansion over which we have lost control? In Japan, too, a growing number of taxpayers are already expressing their doubts over whether we can justify paying close to twenty million dollars per annum as our contribution. My delegation would have to say that it is no longer possible to be fully accountable to the Japanese taxpayers concerning the expansion of the proposed budget for the next biennium.

Mr. Chairman,

The Japanese Government does not in any way deny the importance of promoting the reconciliation process in the countries in the region of the Great Lakes in order to restore peace in that part of the world. My delegation does not believe it is impossible for ICTR to avoid budgetary expansion, while adhering to the ICTR completion strategy and promoting acceleration of the judicial process. ICTR could avoid budget expansion through further improvements in transparency and efficiency as well as shifting its resources to priority areas according to its strategy.

Furthermore, can ICTR justify over one thousand posts? Although ICTR has been in existence for nearly ten years since its establishment in 1994, we are not aware of significant results achieved by ICTR. Therefore, my delegation considers it high time to fundamentally re-examine the Tribunal, what it should be. Taking this opportunity, my Government would like to urge the international community and the Security Council to review ICTR, what it ought to be, including its mandate, while taking into consideration the views of its neighboring countries. Evaluation by Member States on the way in which ITCR exists is once again necessary. In the course of that evaluation, one should recall that the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Khmer Rouge trials is and will be managed through voluntary contributions. In addition, while we need to keep in mind the preparation and implementation of relevant domestic legislation, we also should fully take into consideration the fact that referral of cases to domestic jurisdictions except for serious cases will go ahead in ICTY.

Mr. Chairman,

We wonder what kind of discussions transpired in the Security Council with regard to the issues that I have just mentioned. We have not received a responsible explanation. This is highly regrettable. gNo taxation without representationh was the slogan that triggered the independence movement in the United States, the country in which the Headquarters of this Organization is located. We need to make it very clear that the days when you could take the Japanese taxpayers, who bear one-fifth of the United Nations budget, for granted have passed us by a long time ago.

When reexamining the way in which ICTR exists, it must be accompanied by a fully accountable explanation to the international community. The Japanese delegation has mentioned on previous occasions the need to establish a dialogue mechanism between the Security Council and the major contributing countries on peacekeeping budgets. It would be appropriate to include in this dialogue mechanism the Tribunal budgets. Enhanced transparency and accountability would be extremely important for the major contributing countries to continue their contributions based on the understanding of their taxpayers.

Mr. Chairman,

Let me touch upon the ICTR proposed budget for 2004/2005. This budget is drafted for the first time using the results-based-budgeting format. We would like to encourage this further. Progress is made in the budget by presenting a completion strategy for the first time. My Government is prepared to carefully consider the contents of the budget in the informal consultations of the Fifth Committee.

With regard to 5 ad litem judges and 45 temporary posts based on Security Council Resolution 1512, the Secretary General is requesting additional requirements of 12,239,600 dollars in A/58/500. We would like to be provided with an explanation of the basis for such a request. This amount is extremely large compared with the 4,657,600 dollars approved by the General Assembly Resolution 57/289, based on the recommendation by the ACABQ, for 4 ad litem judges and 42 temporary posts. My Government can not accept such a large request.@With regard to the budget increase arising from the establishment of the Prosecutor based on Security Council Resolution 1503, my delegation would also like to be provided with a responsible explanation from the Secretariat.

Concerning the completion strategy presented in the proposed budget, there is logic in the Secretary Generalfs explanation that the introduction of five additional ad litem judges would enhance speedy judicial process, thereby contributing to the early completion of trials and savings for Member States. However, my delegation can not agree with the rapid increase in Member Statesf burden. With regard to resource allocation, increase in posts should not be looked upon as a given. Efforts to curb the budget through flexible redeployment of existing resources should come first.

My delegation would like to propose that we dispatch an evaluation team consisting of representatives of Member States, to ICTR, to consider the way in which ICTR should exist including reexamination of its mandate, and to explore the ways in which the budget could be rationalized and efficiency of budget implementation could be pursued.

Mr. Chairman,

Having said the above, my delegation expresses its strong concern that without accountability, the activities of the United Nations will not gain the support of taxpayers.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.