WASHINGTON DC — The UN and Cambodia have vowed to provide the support necessary for the Khmer Rouge tribunal to continue.
The UN-backed court has faced ongoing financial woes in recent months, as it seeks to conclude the trial of two aging Khmer Rouge leaders.
In a high-level meeting between the UN’s top legal diplomat, Miguel de Serpa Soares, and Cambodia’s Cabinet Minister Sok An, the two sides agreed to continued to fund the court and cooperate on conducting trials.
“Both sides were able to reaffirm their commitments to ending impunity for the atrocities of the former Khmer Rouge regime,” Eri Kaneko, a UN spokeswoman in New York, told VOA Khmer Wednesday.
“They expressed their determination to overcome the funding challenges faced by the [court] so as to avoid any delay in the judicial proceedings and to assure the welfare of both national and international staff,” the sides said in a statement.
Ek Tha, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said Sok An also outlined the government’s roadmap for completing trials at the court.
Cambodia agreed to provide $1.1 million to cover the salaries of Cambodian tribunal staff for the first quarter of 2014.
And the UN’s special expert on the tribunal, David Scheffer, who was present at the meeting, will “devote maximum efforts” to finding further funding for the 2014 budget, the joint statement said.
The Cambodian side of the hybrid court has faced ongoing criticism of mismanagement, corruption and political interference, and the court itself has only so far successfully tried one defendant since its inception in 2006.
Critics worry the court will not complete the trials of Noun Chea and Khieu Samphan, the only two defendants still in custody, before either running out of time or money.