30 January 2003

General Assembly Elections for Rwanda Tribunal Judges Invalidated After Three Ballots; New Election to Be Held 31 January

Also, New Member Appointed to Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions

NEW YORK, 29 January (UN Headquarters) -- The General Assembly, following a day-long meeting today to consider the nominees for 11 permanent judges to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, concluded that the results of the elections were invalid, owing to the participation in the voting by a Member State in arrears in its payment to the Organization.

At the opening of the meeting this morning, General Assembly President Jan Kavan (Czech Republic) had informed members that certain countries in arrears had now made the necessary payments and, therefore, could participate in the vote. Following three rounds of voting, he informed the Assembly that one of those States, in fact, had not made the necessary payment to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the Charter.

The Assembly will resume the election process for the permanent judges to the Rwanda court on Friday. In November 1998, it elected nine judges for all three Trial Chambers of the Tribunal. On 30 November 2000, the Security Council decided to increase the number of judges to 11. Their terms of office will expire on 24 May 2003.

In other business today, the Assembly appointed a new member to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) -- Jun Yamazaki (Japan). He will serve until 31 December 2004, thereby filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Juichi Takahara, also of Japan.

The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. Friday, 31 January, to commence the elections anew, on the basis of the full list of 23 candidates whose names appear in documents A/57/492 and Corr.1.

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