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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mouly pleads rights cash in Geneva

Mouly pleads rights cash in Geneva

I nformation Minister Ieng Mouly told how he requested funds

from nations at a top-level UN conference to pay for improvements in human

rights.

Speaking exclusively to the Post on Monday, Mouly said the cash

was essential to pay for urgent reforms in the justice system.

Mouly

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

little avail.

"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

improve.

"The first is the problem of the instability created by the

Khmer Rouge, and the second is the problem of mines," he said.

Mouly 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.

Kirby said

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.

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