Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN seeks money for KR Trial

UN seeks money for KR Trial

UN seeks money for KR Trial

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has formally invited member states to pledge funding for the Khmer Rouge trials, but countries remain reluctant to quantify their commitment.

A letter dated 17 December, 2004, was sent with an attached "pledging form" to member nations, asking them to respond as soon as possible.

"The Secretary-General plans to hold a pledging conference at a time early in the new year, and urges Member States to come and pledge their contributions to the special trust fund established for this purpose," the letter stated.

The letter said budgetary requirements for establishing and operating the three-year trial were finalized during a December visit by Mohammed Said, the U.N.'s task force coordinator.

Of the total $56.3 million budget, the United Nations will contribute $40 million to the tribunal while the Cambodian government is responsible for $13.3 million, according to the letter.

Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, has repeatedly said that the trial would only begin once actual cash donations for the first year had been received and a further two years' funds pledged.

The Australian government has given $2.1 million for the anticipated three-year trial, while Japan has pledged $3 million for the first year and France has pledged $1 million.

Other UN member states have so far been reluctant to pledge.

At a canal inauguration ceremony on January 8, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen said the ball was now in the international community's court.

"I went to the meeting and met Secretary-General Kofi Annan; only to shake hands, [say] thanks [and] compliment with the congratulations that His Excellency [Hun Sen] already did what Kampuchea had to do - that means ratification and budgets between the United Nations and Kampuchea," said Hun Sen.

"I told him that now it's time for you to make an effort to find the money," said the PM.

"I also make an effort to find the money and asked John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia, for helping more to have the trial quickly," said Hun Sen.

"If [the trial] already judge Pol Pot, it means justice for Cambodia has succeeded."

Hun Sen also made controversial comments comparing the outpouring of sympathy and international aid to victims of the December 26 tsunami to the world's response to the deaths during the Khmer Rouge years.

"If we check what damage by tsunami compared to the scale of damage during Pol Pot regime, it's not equal to 10 percent," he said. "According to the estimate, the dead and missing [might] increase to 200,000. We are very sorry."

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget