Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN’s Smith meets with Sar Kheng

UN’s Smith meets with Sar Kheng

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rhona Smith meets with Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

UN’s Smith meets with Sar Kheng

In a meeting with Sar Kheng on Wednesday, UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith requested the creation of a forum to strengthen government-civil society cooperation, said Ministry of Interior spokesman Phat Sophanit.

He told reporters after the meeting that Smith requested the forum in order to strengthen dialogue between the two sides and provide a platform for citizens to offer their feedback and opinions.

“In short, Smith obviously sees progress with regard to the implementation of the tasks of the government so far, especially with regard to the creation of a clear mechanism for the government and civil society to meet each other regularly every two years,” Sophanit said.

He said Smith expressed positivity over the government’s progress on certain issues and encouraged them to continue to implement other commitments that had been made.

She raised the issue of single windows – an initiative aiming to interconnect customs checkpoints and automatically share cargo-related data and information in an effort to speed up cross-border trade.

The initiative also helps to strengthen the provision of public services for citizens in a more transparent manner and helps prevent and reduce corruption and bribes.

Sophanit said Smith also raised the issues of anti-drug campaigns and the exercise of rights and freedom by NGOs with Sar Kheng.

“She requested the Ministry of Interior to make efforts to continue the implementation of initiatives, such as adding more single windows, building more prison infrastructure and introducing rehabilitation programmes for drug addicts,” he said.

On his part, Sar Kheng welcomed Smith’s comments and reportedly guaranteed he would assign the relevant departments with the responsibility to fulfil each task.

Separately, Smith wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon that she had also met with Secretary General of the National Authority for Combating Drugs Meas Vyrith.

In this meeting, she was briefed on the implementation of an anti-drugs campaign initiated in January 2017, as well as the efforts that had been taken to support drug-users through community-based services, and strategies developed by the authorities together with NGOs to combat drugs.

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement