DE RUCNDT #0485 1660021
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 150021Z JUN 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 1071
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2079
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000485
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/14/2017 TAGS: KCRM LE PREL PTER UNSC SUBJECT: UN MOVES TO SET UP LEBANON TRIBUNAL
REF: REF. A: USUN 458 REF. B: BEIRUT 860
Classified By: Ambassador Wolff for Reasons 1.4b and 1.4d
1. (U) Ref A described UN preparations for the Lebanese Tribunal. In a June 6 meeting, UN officials told USUN officers that they were working quietly to put arrangements in place for full implementation of resolution 1757 but were conscious of the fact that its provisions would not be effective until June 10. On June 10, the UN Spokesman announced to the press that the Secretary General had begun to take the steps necessary to establish the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The UN Legal Counsel briefed the press, which generated a series of articles the following day such as the Reuters report, "UN starts work to set up Lebanon Hariri tribunal."
2. (C) In a follow-up conversation on June 12, UN Legal Counsel Michel and his Deputy told USUN Legal Adviser that they have been busily putting the elements of the Tribunal together. Michel reported that he had spoken with Ambassador Mohamed Chattah about a potential seat for the Tribunal. Cyprus had been eliminated and the UN is now looking at a number of European capitals, including The Hague, Austria, Switzerland, and Sweden. Contacts with those capitals will be initiated early next week. The UN remains convinced that the seat is the key factor and will have an impact on other aspects of the arrangements but is forging ahead on all fronts. Michel reported that he had met the UN Controller to discuss setting up the Trust Fund for voluntary contributions and the UN Budget Division is making arrangements to establish the fund as soon as possible. It should be accomplished within the next few weeks and potential donors will be contacted.
3. (C) Michel also reported, consistent with Ref B, that the Lebanese are proceeding rapidly to identify potential judges. The UN expects to receive the list from Lebanon shortly.
4. (U) Michel indicated that his task force is fully engaged in efforts to establish the Tribunal and making progress. In a June 14 conversation, a member of the UN Legal Office Lebanon Tribunal Task Force reported that Michel will convene a meeting on Monday or Tuesday of the "Support Group" which will handle various aspects of the project. Included will be representatives of the UN Budget, Security and Political Divisions.
5. (U) Comment: Michel and his team have a high degree of commitment to this Court and are sensitive to the political implications of getting it in place as soon as possible. They are also very aware of USG interest. End Comment.