Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN votes for KR talks

UN votes for KR talks

UN votes for KR talks

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on December 18 in favor of a resolution

to restart the stalled negotiations on the Khmer Rouge tribunal.

A total 150 countries voted in favor, 30 abstained and there were no votes against.

The resolution was unchanged from the one recommended for adoption by the UN's Third

Committee on November 20.

The resolution requests that Secretary-General Kofi Annan resume negotiations "without

delay" and "based on previous negotiations", to establish the tribunal.

The UN's Office of Legal Affairs now has 90 days to conclude an agreement with Cambodia

on the tribunal's final form.

"I welcome very much the resolution of this," Cambodia's chief negotiator

Sok An told the Post. "We will start negotiations very soon."

The UN quit negotiations in February in a dispute over which legal document would

take precedence: the government's tribunal law or the Memorandum of Understanding.

But in a press release issued December 17, Amnesty International called the resolution's

text "heavily compromised".

"Justice is not served by diluting international standards to suit the occasion

or a government in power," Amnesty stated.

The rights body also called on the UN to ensure an independent and impartial court

and prosecutor, and effective witness protection.

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