Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - To close or not: Govt easy

To close or not: Govt easy

To close or not: Govt easy

F OREIGN Minister Ung Huot says the government "won't mind at all" if the UN

Center for Human Rights (UNCHR) remains open.

"This is not a softening.

We proposed phasing out the office. If the UN secretary-general decides to keep

it, there are no hard feelings," Huot told the Post on April 18.

Briton

Marrack Goulding, the UN's undersecretary general for political affairs, was

appointed this week special envoy to resolve the controversy. He is expected to

spend three days in early May meeting government officials, diplomats and human

rights advocates.

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali agreed to send

him after news broke of the co-prime ministers' March 15 request to close the

UNCHR when its March 1996 mandate runs out.

Since then, twelve local

non-governmental organisations and human rights groups have written to the UN

and the government urging the center be kept open. Several embassies have also

been advocating it's survival.

"We look forward to Goulding coming and

hope the government's desire to close the center will be reversed," an US

embassy official said.

No deadline for a final decision on the closure

has been announced.

"We believe the human rights situation is

satisfactory... We are not saying you should pack up and go home, but we feel

maybe it's OK now. But if the United Nations feels it is still not, that's their

prerogative," said Huot.

"Let's be clear on that. The government asked

the UN to look at the possibility of phasing out - not closing - the center. If

they feel it has to continue, we will welcome that decision. We were just

raising the issue."

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release