|07USUNNEWYORK485||2007-06-15 00:21:00||CONFIDENTIAL||USUN New York|
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
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
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.