Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN asked to avoid bias on rights issues

UN asked to avoid bias on rights issues

UN asked to avoid bias on rights issues

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong yesterday urged the United Nations high commissioner for human rights representative in Cambodia not to be biased against the government and the ruling party in her evaluation of the state of human rights in Cambodia.

In his meeting with Wan-Hea Lee, who was appointed UN OHCHR Representative in Cambodia in 2012 and is now taking over duties as such, Namhong expressed a positive attitude toward OHCHR’s presence and preparation of its annual report on the country.

He warned, however, that Lee should report on the country’s human rights situation not based “on one side’s information – from the media and civil society, which tend to side with the opposition party”, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said after the meeting.

The government has at times had a difficult relationship with OHCHR; Prime Minister Hun Sen previously threatened to close the office in Cambodia if then-representative Christophe Peschoux, whom he saw as allied with the opposition, was not fired.

Yesterday, Kuong said: “Hor Namhong expressed a warm welcome to Ms Wan-Hea Lee, and she expressed appreciation with her new appointment.”

Kuong noted that in January 2012, the government had renewed a two-year memorandum of understanding for cooperation with the OHCHR.

According to Lee, “the meeting was very productive and cordial. OHCHR provides a significant amount of technical assistance to the Royal Government to help improve the human rights situation in the country. OHCHR has always aimed to be independent and objective in its work.”

Although Kuong said Namhong had asked the OHCHR to monitor the upcoming elections, Lee said that although OHCHR’s monitoring continued through the election period, “the United Nations in Cambodia is not involved in organising or observing the 2013 National Assembly elections”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk