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Tribunal Fund Drive Falls Short in New York

UN and Cambodian representatives for the Khmer Rouge tribunal failed to convince donors to pledge enough money to support the court for another two years, but instead received a modest amount following meetings in New York, a diplomat said Wednesday.

A tribunal delegation had gone to New York seeking some of the $87 million it says is needed for operations this year and next. Donors have approved the amount, but so far have not given over the money.

“There was not a big, successful pledge, but a reasonable pledge” this week, said the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another tribunal observer told VOA Khmer the international side received $13.5 million and the Cambodian side received $3.4 million.

The Cambodian side of the hybrid court is facing dire economic circumstances, with staff salaries halved in April.

Both pledges include an already announced $5 million from the US for the international side and Japanese funding of $2.9 million for the international side and $2.26 million for the national side.

The EU pledge $2 million for the national side, according to the sources. Other countries making pledges include France, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Luxembourg and Germany.

In the pledging conference on Tuesday in UN Head Quarter, The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed his gratitude to Member States for their generous contributions to date, and appealed to them to maintain and increase their support, even in the midst of the current economic environment.

“Without such support, the chambers cannot function,” he stressed. “It is as simple and stark as that,” Ban said in his opening remark.