Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sen. John Kerry urges U.S. to help fund ECCC

Sen. John Kerry urges U.S. to help fund ECCC

Lowell Sun editorial piece, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry calls on America to provide direct funding to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. "The court faces a looming financial crisis," writes Kerry, who helped negotiate the founding of the ECCC with the United Nations and Cambodian government. "Indeed, there is a real danger that the ECCC will collapse before it even gets off the ground." Though Kerry admits that there have been legitimate concerns about the court's independence and alleged financial improprieties, he proposes the U.S. contribute $2-million to support victims' rights and witness protection programs. " />

Sen. John Kerry urges U.S. to help fund ECCC

"Our involvement could effect higher standards of transparency, independence, integrity, more effective witness protection, meaningful victim participation, and adequate anti-corruption measures," he writes.

While America has thus far declined to support the court politically or financially, other donor nations have begun to suffer from "tribunal fatigue," Kerry writes. A modest injection of U.S. dollars could help reinvigorate their support.

"Day by day, survivors die without seeing any accountability for the horrors that were committed, and without lending their voices to the record of history," Kerry writes. "A successful tribunal for Cambodia will continue the essential process that began with the Nuremberg trials of setting a standard for accountability and sending a message that the world will never forget."

As an American citizen, I would have to agree with Kerry that a $2-million contribution is necessary, though modest. Given our country's historical involvement in the region, we Americans should -- at the very least -- support a process that can bring any measure of justice to those who suffered partly because of U.S. actions (and inaction).

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