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UN envoy to chart progress

UN special rapporteur Surya Subedi arrived in the country last night for a one-week mission to see how well the government has heeded his recommendations on a slew of human rights issues.

James Heenan, officer-in-charge of the UN Cambodian Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, yesterday said Subedi would use his mission to meet with government representatives on the progress made on 85 recommendations he has produced over the course of four reports during a four-year mandate to the country.

“There is no hard legal obligation [on Cambodia’s behalf] to accept the recommendations,” Heenan said. “However, they have accepted his mission to the country, they have indicated their willingness to accept his mandate and if the recommendations are ill-advised or unacceptable then they will explain why.”

Although Subedi has enjoyed a relationship with the government that is comparatively warm to that of his predecessors, his reports have increasingly taken the government to task on problems within the parliament, judiciary, elections and land policy.

The reports have also drawn mounting criticism from officials including Prime Minister Hun Sen, who in October called the conclusion of a recent damning report on economic land concessions “unfounded” and accused him of bias toward the opposition.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at



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