STATEMENT by H.E. MR. ADIKALIE FODAY SUMAH , PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE on Agenda Item 134: PROPOSED PROGRAMME BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM 2016-2017 : REQUEST FOR SUBVENTION TO THE RESIDUAL SPECIAL COU RT FOR
SIERRA LEONE AT THE MAIN PART OF THE SEVENTY-FIRST SESSION OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
16TH November 2016
I am delighted to deliver this Statement on the proposed programme Budget for the Biennium 2016-2017, particularly regarding the request for a subvention for the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Since this is my inaugural Statement by virtue of the fact that, it is the first time I am appearing before the distinguished delegates of the Fifth Committee, let me congratulate you, on your election as Chair of this Committee and other members of the Bureau.
I would like to express my appreciation to Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General, and Controller, for introducing the Report of the Secretary-General and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Questions for introducing the related report on this agenda item 134.
My delegation aligns itself with the Statement delivered by the distinguished Representatives of the Kingdom of Thailand, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and the Republic of Chad on behalf of the African Group, on this important agenda item.
The Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone was established by an Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone in August 2010, to carry out the ongoing legal administrative obligations of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), which was closed on 31st December, 2013. These obligations include among others, supervision of the enforcement of sentences, review of convictions and acquittals, conduct of contempt of court proceedings or referral, witness and victim protection and support as well as the maintenance, preservation and management of archives of the Special Court.
The Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone cannot deliver on its mandate without the required resources. In that regard, the Government of Sierra Leone has been working in collaboration with all key stakeholders, to address the funding challenges of the Court. Supporting the efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone, in June this year, the Secretary-General, wrote to all Member States of the United Nations, appealing for financial support for the Court. Despite our concerted efforts, the Residual Special Court does not have sufficient funds from voluntary contributions to continue its operations in 2017.
The financial challenges facing the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone is impacting on its ability to effectively deliver on its mandate. The purpose of the establishment of the Special Court for Sierra Leone inter alia is, to address impunity following the wide spread of human rights abuses during the protracted civil war in Sierra Leone; and to ensure that, those who bear the greatest responsibility are brought to justice, would be served, by sustaining the financing status of the Court which under its aegis, has taken the residual judicial and administrative functions of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Moreover, the preservation of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone would continue to serve as a deterrent to human rights abuses and the fomentation of unrest with the potential to develop to full blown conflict within the Manor River Union Basin and the ECOWAS sub-region in general.
In conclusion Madam Chairperson, considering that, the activities of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone are carried out in the furtherance of the purpose of the United Nations, in particular, the maintenance of international peace and security, securing a long-term sustainable means of funding for the Court remains a top priority for the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. We will therefore continue to collaborate with Member States and other development partners to achieve this goal.
Meanwhile, my delegation would like to implore the distinguished delegates of the Fifth Committee to endorse the request of the Secretary-General for a resource requirement of $ 2,980,500 as a subvention to the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone for 2017.
Let me seize this opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation to Member States for their continued support to the work of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone.
I thank you.