Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN envoy welcomed, warned

UN envoy welcomed, warned

UN envoy welcomed, warned

090617_01f.jpg
090617_01f.jpg

Photo by: TRACEY SHELTON

Hun Sen speaks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen, who famously soured relations with the former UN envoy for human rights, Yash Ghai, has welcomed his successor on his first visit to the country while at the same time warning him against being "ignorant" and biased.

"We will listen to his ideas, and we hope he will listen to our ideas," Hun Sen said Tuesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"But I think he would not be ignorant and follow an ignorant person from his team previously.... Working with this rapporteur will not be difficult, but it will be difficult to work with people in [the local UN rights office] if they still have an ignorant stance towards the government."

Surya Subedi, the new envoy, began his first visit to the Kingdom on Monday and met with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong on Tuesday.

Though Tuesday's meeting was labelled a "protocol" meet-and-greet by UN officials, ministry spokespeople said afterwards that the government had appealed Subedi to be "just" when assessing rights in the country.  

"What the government is wanting is justice, reality and transparency,"Ouch Borith, secretary of state at the Foreign Ministry, told reporters after the meeting.

"Hor Namhong told Mr Subedi that he should meet with and collect information from all government officials, not just listen to or get reports from NGOs, civil society groups or the opposition. [He] has to get reports from all sides," he added.

Ouch Borith also said the government had made a request to Subedi to check any report before it is sent to the UN.  

"[We] want to check the report for balance," he said.

Subedi's predecessor Yash Ghai resigned from the post after receiving multiple personal attacks from Hun Sen and other top government officials.

UN human rights representative Christophe Peschoux would not comment on the meeting except to say that it did not deal with "substantial" issues and was rather a greeting.

The new envoy is to meet with the prime minister on Thursday morning and has also confirmed a meeting with the head of the government's human rights committee, Om Yentieng, later that day. 

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

    A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday. Wong Chen, a member of the People’s

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not