Cambodia will know by the early hours of tomorrow whether its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council has been a success.
The Kingdom is up against South Korea – the home country of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – and Bhutan for the Asia-Pacific seat, one of five the UN General Assembly will vote on tonight in New York, Cambodian time.
South Korea is much favoured to be awarded the seat for a two-year period that begins on January 1.
Cambodia, however, has claimed it has already won support from more than 100 countries for its candidacy.
The Kingdom’s bid has been criticised amid what rights groups have said is a deteriorating state of human rights across the country this year, while Surya Subedi, the UN’s special rapporteur to Cambodia, has warned economic land concessions are threatening stability.
Environmental NGO Global Witness said this week that Cambodia should not be awarded a seat while “its ruling elite continues to commit widespread human rights abuses and sell off vast tracts of land and forest for private gain”.
“Since the start of 2012 a 14-year-old girl has been shot and killed in a forced eviction, anti-illegal logging activist Chut Wutty was murdered by armed forces, and journalist Hang Serei Oudom was found axed to death in the boot of his car after reporting on timber cartels,” a statement said.
Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said last month that Cambodia’s aim was to contribute through the security council to “the cause of peace, security and peaceful settlement of conflicts”.
To contact the reporter on this story: Shane Worrell at [email protected]