Q: Mr. Secretary-General, I know that you've been very involved in the last week or so in the issue of Lebanon. You have met with many officials here in New York and you've been on the phone, and you are probably part of this renewed effort in Paris. But my question is quite specific to you. After the opposition brought down the Government of Saad Hariri, the idea seems to be – the issue in their mind seems to be – that a new government will be able to stop the [Special] Tribunal [for Lebanon] by doing three things: pulling out the financing, pulling out the Lebanese judges, and refusing to cooperate with the STL, with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. In this case – you know this Tribunal very well; you know the statute – is that feasible? Would that actually lead to stopping the Tribunal from doing its work, if a new government takes these three actions?
SG: I have stated my position, the position of the United Nations, many times in the past, and it remains the same. As you have already read my statement last week, I had a good meeting with the Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, and I had also a good meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in New York. I have been following very closely the situation. And it is quite regrettable that the Government has not been able to function properly with the pullout of Hezbollah ministers. I call for dialogue among the parties, all the parties, to continue, and for all to respect the Constitution and the law of the country. As far as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is concerned, this is an independent, international judiciary system whose work should never be interrupted or interfered by any parties. I fully respect their integrity, and their integrity should be preserved. That's what I can tell you at this time.
Q: Just very briefly, sir, as far as the statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon – if any government - this government, the next government - decides to take these three actions, stop its part of financing, pull out its own three, I think, judges, and say after the indictment, "I do not want to cooperate with you", would that, de facto, stop the action of the Tribunal? Or is there something in the statute that allows it to go on with its work?
SG: When the Special Tribunal was established by the mandate of the Security Council, clearly, one of the two parties is Lebanon who has to provide the funding. And that's what they did, and another part is the international community – that's what I did to secure funding. And I believe that this responsibility should continue. The Lebanese Government – whoever may be in power – has the responsibility to provide the funding.