I nformation Minister Ieng Mouly told how he requested funds
from nations at a top-level UN conference to pay for improvements in human
Speaking exclusively to the Post on Monday, Mouly said the cash
was essential to pay for urgent reforms in the justice system.
drove the point home in a speech to the Fiftieth Session of the United Nations
Commission on Human Rights in Geneva last week.
The minister said he told
the Geneva delegates that the Royal Government was committed to creating the
rule of law and protecting human rights.
But he added: "The will of the
government is not enough. If the police and the judges and the government
officials are not trained in the law, and the government lacks the expertise to
write good laws, then the government's commitment to human rights will be of
"We have the good will to draft good laws, but to enforce
the law and to implement the law we need the concrete means to pay and train our
judges and our police.
"We have two choices. Either we wait for the
economy to get stronger before we begin to implement the laws more stringently,
or we can ask for the help of the international community now to turn our
commitment into concrete achievements."
The information minister told the
Post: "I was not ashamed to ask for the assistance of the international
community. I identified the problem, I identified the measures that the
government will take, I identified the means that we still require. We then
asked for the help."
Mouly pointed out that two other problems which
would have to be solved in order for the human rights situation in Cambodia to
"The first is the problem of the instability created by the
Khmer Rouge, and the second is the problem of mines," he said.
"My two main goals in Geneva were to respond to the report on Human Rights in
Cambodia made by the Hon Justice Michael Kirby, the UN Special Representative
for Human Rights in Cambodia, and to clarify the situation in Cambodia with
respect to human rights."
Mouly was accompanied to the conference by Kem
Sokha, the chairman of the National Assembly Commission for Human Rights and the
Reception of Complaints.
In his report Justice Kirby also highlighted
the KR and mines problems and their human rights dimensions.
that a side effect of war was banditry because of the availability and the flow
of arms in the contested areas.
His report also detailed the many ways
which mines take a daily toll on the right to life and the right to movement.
It pointed out that mines even have a de-stabilizing influence on
Cambodian society, which with Angola, has the distinction of the highest level
of war-caused amputees in the world.