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

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese