Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister slams UN rep over alleged ‘prejudice’

Minister slams UN rep over alleged ‘prejudice’

OHCHR Cambodia representative Wan-Hea Lee speaks last month in Phnom Penh during a public forum on the Paris Peace Accords. Photo supplied
OHCHR Cambodia representative Wan-Hea Lee speaks last month in Phnom Penh during a public forum on the Paris Peace Accords. Photo supplied

Minister slams UN rep over alleged ‘prejudice’

Foreign Minister Prak Sokhon slammed UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) country representative Wan-Hea Lee for alleged “prejudice” in a two-page missive released on Friday.

The letter was sent to UN Development Project resident representative Claire Van der Vaeren, blasting Wan-Hea Lee for having “crossed the red line of the UN charter . . . under[m]ining the respect for sovereignty and non-interference” when she requested an explanation for the ban recently imposed on opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

Sokhon decried the request as Lee “expressing her prejudices against the Royal Government of Cambodia” on the matter. He went on to reference OHCHR’s memorandum of understanding with the Interior Ministry, which expired last December and has yet to be renewed.

“In the absence of a valid Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the current operation and activities of the OHCHR in Cambodia, including those of its Country Representative, are not legitimate,” Sokhonn wrote.

“I would like to reiterate [Cambodia’s] firm commitment to improving the smooth and effective cooperation with the OHCHR through the early conclusion of the new MoU on the basis of the principle of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in Cambodia’s internal affairs.”

OHCHR’s Lee and Foreign Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry declined to comment on the letter, while Van der Vaeren was on leave and could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,