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5 November 2010 - Lebanon/Special Tribunal - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

The meeting of the Security Council today was the expression of our common concern following the attacks against the investigators of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on the 27th of October. First of all, we wanted to be informed by Ms. Patricia O’Brien, who is the Legal Counsel of our organization, and we wanted to reaffirm our support to the actions of the Tribunal. I think this support was granted: it was a good opportunity for all of us to reaffirm it. We have all expressed our wish that the Tribunal is able to continue its action in an independent and effective way.

Q: The Council condemned the attack. What is France’s position?

First, I think it was in a sense a very factual meeting. We wanted to be informed about what happened. So Ms. O’Brien transmitted the elements that she had. Do not forget also that it is an independent tribunal, therefore we do not have all the information from the Tribunal. So we are going to tell the Tribunal that if it considers it necessary or appropriate to provide more to the Council, it is up to it to send it to the Council. But of course everybody condemned the attack against the investigators.

Q: Some people say that it should not have been Ms O’Brien that should have briefed the Council but someone from the court itself: as you said the court is independent...

The Secretariat has transmitted to us the information it got from the Tribunal. Some members said they would have wanted more information, so it will be up to the Tribunal to decide whether it wants to transmit additional information to the Council. I insist and we all have insisted the Tribunal is independent. So it’s up to the tribunal to decide.

Q: Mr Ambassador, are you satisfied with the action of the Security Council and do you believe that the Council should take further action?

We are very satisfied because there was a general agreement around the table, a general expression of support. We are now going to see what happens on the ground in the coming weeks, which is important. Again, this is not a political issue. We do not want to politicize it. The Council was very clear on not making this issue a political one. We have a Tribunal, created by the Security Council. We want it to work in an effective and serene manner.

Q: Is it acceptable for France to release personal data about people and (inaudible)?

The Tribunal is independent so if you have any question about the Tribunal you have to go to the Tribunal.

Thank you.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU