The information ministry on July 1 held a meeting to review the draft Law on Access to Information, following a petition submitted to Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 16 by 33 civil society organisations (CSO) urging for the document to be re-examined before it is finalised.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, who presided the meeting, commented that CSOs have been involved with the ministry for “many years” in the drafting of the law, which he said has been agreed upon by various stakeholders.

Other partners have also lent a hand in the preparation of the law, including UNESCO and relevant ministries and institutions, he said, adding that the Ministry of Justice were recently involved in reviewing the document before it was sent to the Council of Ministers, or Cabinet.

But now, he noted, progress on the draft law will be slowed and extra time will be allotted to reassess the document before the council can issue a decision, as per the CSOs’ request.

“All laws are to be passed based on international principles as well as the particular circumstances in the country, especially its political situation,” Kanharith underscored.