Hun Sen visits IndiaPM Hun Sen paid a state visit to India December 7-10 to meet
with President Pratibha Patil, VP Hamid Ansari and PM Manmohan Singh. The countries
signed agreements in several areas, including: foreign office consultations, transfer
of sentenced persons, defense cooperation, water resource management, agriculture,
line of credit and technical assistance.
Freedom check upRepresentatives of Freedom House (FH), an American civil liberties
and rule of law NGO, visited Phnom Penh December 5-7 to discuss its survey on the
state of political and civil rights and press freedom in Cambodia. The survey gave
abysmal scores to Cambodia in the categories Independent judiciary and Protection
from state imprisonment and torture. Cambodia's score in press freedom improved however.
FH officials met with several officials at the Council of Ministers for several hours.
"They were unhappy with some of our characterizations of Cambodian history and
current events,"said FH representative Thomas Melia. But, he said, "they
took our reports very seriously."
Threat for CambodiaUNDP said Cambodia should seek assistance to mitigate climate
change with projects such as renewable energy. Cambodia faces immediate threats to
agricultural production and food security from climate change through changes to
rainfall, temperatures and the availability of water, UNDP said in a November 29
statement. It said long-term risks include greater insecurity, increased sea-level,
cyclones and disruption or collapse of Cambodia's critical ecosystems. There is also
risk of increased disease.
Corruption index Seventy-two percent of the 1,016 Cambodians interviewed said they
paid a bribe to receive a service in the previous 12 months, according to Transparency
International's 2007 Global Corruption Barometer released December 6. Only Cameroon-where
79% of the population reported paying bribes-had a higher corruption score.
ADB Water report A November 29 Asian Development Bank report on water resource management
stressed the disparity in the quality of Cambodia's urban and rural water infrastructure.
The report said while 82% of the population lives in rural areas, rural sanitation
coverage-cited as 8% by the ADB and 16% by the government-is the lowest in the region
and second lowest outside Africa.