The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted on 30 April 1998 resolution 1165 (1998), establishing a third Trial Chamber of three additional judges for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. This decision was made on the basis of a request made by the President of the Tribunal Judge Laïty Kama (Senegal) and the Registrar, Mr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali (Nigeria), to Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The Secretary-General subsequently transmitted the Tribunal's request to the Council and the General Assembly on 15 October 1997.
In the resolution, the Security Council expressed its conviction of the need to increase the number of judges and Trial Chambers, in order to enable the Tribunal to try without delay the large number of accused awaiting trial, and "noted the progress being made in improving the efficient functioning of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda."
The Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations in New York, H.E. Mr. Hans Dahlgren, who coordinated the negotiations on the resolution, stated: "[this] decision was a clear demonstration of the firm support of the Council for the Tribunal."
By the resolution 1165, the Security Council also decided that the elections for the judges of the three Trial Chambers would be held together, for a term to expire on 24 May 2003.
In its resolution 955 (1994) of 8 November 1994 which established the ICTR, the Council decided to consider increasing the number of judges and Trial Chambers of the Tribunal if it became necessary. The existing two Trial Chambers have three judges each: Judges Laïty Kama (Senegal), Lennart Aspegren (Sweden), Navanethem Pillay (South Africa) for Trial Chamber 1, and Yakov Ostrovsky (Russian Federation), William Sekule (Tanzania) and Tafazzal Hossain Khan (Bangladesh) for Trial Chamber 2.