US Senate Marks Peace Accords

Resolution calls for democracy commitment

PHNOM PENH – The US Senate has passed a resolution marking the 30_year anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreements and calling on the Cambodian government to fulfill its democratic promise.

“The resolution remembers the Paris Peace Agreements as a landmark achievement for the Cambodian people, urges all signatories to re-affirm their commitments, and calls on the Cambodian government to fulfill the democratic promise of the accords,” the US Embassy said on May 24.

The resolution, unanimously passed on May 12, was initiated by senators Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney of Utah, Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Jim Risch of Idaho.

It says the US and the international community have continued to support the peace, security and prosperity of Cambodia, as demonstrated through the delivery by the US of more than $1.5 billion in development assistance and more than $3 billion in total assistance to Cambodia.

However, The US demanded the Kingdom respect human rights as stipulated in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human rights, the covenants and conventions related to human rights, and women’s and children’s rights.  

“The US emphasizes the need for the Government of Cambodia to commit to free and fair multiparty elections in the upcoming communal elections in 2022 and national elections in 2023 as an expression of its commitment to the self-determination of the Cambodian people,” the embassy said.

“Cambodia needed to dismiss all politically motivated charges, prosecutions and sentencings of the opposition, journalists and civil society activists.”

US Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy said the important voice of the US legislative branch confirms that the United States stands with the Cambodian people in supporting their sustained aspirations for an inclusive, multiparty democracy that protects human rights. 

“The resolution also recalls the important role of the international community in partnering with Cambodian stakeholders in 1991 to help the Kingdom end violence and begin rebuilding the nation,” he said.

Phay Siphan, Cambodia’s government spokesman, applauded and thanked the US and the international community for their help to support peace through technical and financial support.

“The US has contributed enormously to peace in Cambodia,” he said. “The US has been present and contributing since the beginning of peacebuilding in Cambodia.”

When asked about the human and political rights in the country, Siphan said that the government has tried hard to promote political rights, especially during the communal election.

The Interior Minister had called many times for authorities to facilitate and make a favorable environment for other political parties to run their campaigns, he said.

“The Government needs to use the right to protect social security and public order. It’s a duty of government, so the government is not abusing people’s rights,” he said. “The government calls for all parties, authorities, and people to join together to build peace and democracy.”

Political analyst Meas Ny said the relationship between the US and Cambodia seems to be unstable due to the lack of respect for human rights and democracy in Cambodia.

“It’s good that the US shows its stance and reminds the Cambodian government to respect human right and democracy,” he said.

Meas Ny said strictly respecting the Constitution and promoting the political, economic and social rights of citizens is appropriate for Cambodia. However, the government does not strictly implement constitutional law, causing a lot of criticism from the international community, he said.

Although the US criticized Cambodia for human rights and democracy violations, Meas Ny said Cambodia should not implement the democratic practice or human rights respect according to US standards. Cambodia should follow its own Constitution.

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