I read in yesterday’s Phnom Penh Post that Prime Minister Hun Sen is still working hard on winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2013-2014.
The Prime Minister talks about more than 100 countries apparently supporting such a bid.
- Those countries should be ashamed of themselves, given this government's actions over the past two years, which include:
- threatening to expel the highest-ranking United Nations official in the country (resident co-ordinator Douglas Broderick);
- threatening to close down the UN Human Rights office in this country;
- requesting the removal of the UN Human Rights country director in Cambodia;
- interfering in the proceedings of the UN-sponsored Khmer Rouge tribunal (the latest example being the saga regarding the appointment of Judge Kasper-Ansermet);
- unlawfully incarcerating a UN employee for six months in a clear case of intimidation against the UN;
- violating the UN convention on the protection of refugees by deporting Uighur and Montagnard asylum-seekers;
- maintaining Cambodia among the most corrupt countries in the world (according to a Transparency International survey);
- maintaining Cambodia as the worst country on the rule-of-law index (as ranked by the World Justice Project);
- continuing a systematic campaign of unlawful evictions, land grabs and human-rights violations; and
- continuing its efforts to shrink the overall democratic space by clamping down on freedom of expression and the political opposition (as per today's Human Rights Watch classification of Cambodia as “not a free country”.
Giving Cambodia a seat on the UN Security Council at this time would translate into the UN endorsing and rewarding the government's "rogue" actions against UN institutions and principles.
The UN and its member states should uphold the values and principles of UN membership. Giving a seat to Cambodia would do the exact opposite.
The media needs to put the facts straight to avoid having such a surreal bid materialise.
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The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.