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UN pledges continued support for Cambodia

UN pledges continued support for Cambodia

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081222_03.jpg

At an event marking 53 years of UN membership, officials and NGOs alike celebrate UN achievements in Cambodia

Photo by:
Heng Chivoan

Some of the 192 monks - representing the 192 countries in the United Nations - walk through Hun Sen Park on Sunday.

DESPITE having, at times, a highly problematic relationship with the government, the United Nations  has played a key role in the Kingdom's development and will continue to support Cambodia in the future, UN officials say.

"In partnership with the Cambodian government and Cambodian people, the United Nations ... will work to ensure that all Cambodian women, children and men can live in peace, prosperity and justice," Teruo Jinnai, the acting UN resident coordinator to Cambodia, said Sunday at an event celebrating the 53rd anniversary of Cambodia's accession to the UN.

The event noted the UN's accomplishments in Cambodia over the last three decades. Jinnai reminded the audience that in 1979, after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, the UN provided US$700 million in emergency relief, and that during the 1990s, the United Nations Transitional Authority of Cambodia helped restore peace and security by organising democratic elections.

The celebration did not just focus on the past. With 23 specialised UN groups currently working to provide development and technical assistance to the Cambodian people, the UN is here for years to come.

Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, was hopeful that with the UN's help, Cambodia would one day fully respect human rights.

"Even though today we do not have complete freedoms ... we have seen the development process lead to a gain in freedom."

One of the high points of the event was when 192 monks - representing the 192 UN member countries - participated in a peace ceremony.

Moeung Sonn, president of the Khmer Civilisation Foundation that organized the event, said Cambodians should celebrate the anniversary to express their gratitude to the UN for their contribution to peace and prosperity in Cambodia.

"These member countries have undertaken to find solutions for Cambodian crises, paving the way for peace, national development, social equity and justice."

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