25 May 2005

Press Statement by Security Council President on Special Court for Sierra Leone

NEW YORK, 24 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today’s statement to the press on the Special Court for Sierra Leone by Security Council President Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark):

Members of the Security Council today heard a briefing by the President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone on the activities of the Court.

Council members reiterated their strong support for the Court and welcomed the progress achieved.  They urged the international community to continue to support the Court as it moves into its final stage of work.  In particular, they emphasized the essential need for further pledges of voluntary contributions in order to allow the Court to complete its mandate in a timely manner and urged all UN Member States to consider making such pledges.

Council members noted the varied challenges remaining for the Court to fulfil its mandate, including security challenges as noted in the report, and expressed their intention to consider ways to deal with such issues.

Council members welcomed the Court’s completion strategy.  They underlined their expectation that all organs of the Court will do their utmost to finish its work in accordance with the completion strategy and the framework prescribed by its main stakeholders.  In this context, they underlined the importance of ensuring that all those who have been indicted by the Court appear before it, strengthening the stability of Sierra Leone and the subregion and bringing an end to impunity.

Council members noted that further arrangements would be needed in the future to deal with residual matters after trials and appeals are completed, including issues arising from long-term enforcement of sentences for any indictee who may be convicted and the future trial of indictees who currently remain at large.

Council members indicated their intention to continue actively to follow the matter.

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