I congratulate the Phnom Penh Post on its inaugural issue and I welcome this new voice among Cambodia's media.
The launching of a new newspaper will broaden freedom of expression and enrich the diversity of views, thus strengthening
The Post will share with all other Cambodian media organizations the obligation to provide fair, accurate, and
balanced news about the political situation, including the activities of all political groups and of UNTAC.
As you know, UNTAC is in Cambodia to implement the peace agreement signed at Paris last October. Its role is
a limited one, and will cease soon after its primary mandate to hold free and fair elections for a constituent
assembly next April or May has been fulfilled. In the meantime, we would greatly appreciate the cooperation and
understanding of all Cambodians irrespective of their political viewpoint.
The months ahead will inevitably bring great changes to all Cambodians, and some may find those changes inconvenient
and unsettling. But I would ask Cambodians to bear with us in the knowledge that our purpose in coming here is
to help them overcome the effects of 20 years of war and hardship.
For our part, every member of UNTAC feels privileged to be allowed to take part in this United Nations mission
to restore peace, democracy, and prosperity to Cambodia. We are here to do the best job we can, and we all look
forward to working closely with the people of Cambodia of all parties and of none in the achievement of that goal.
- Yasushi Akashi, Special Representative to the Secretary General of the United Nations