News / USA

Hillary Clinton Endorses UN Human Rights Office in Cambodia

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks at a wall of faces of those killed by the Khmer Rouge regime, during a tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, formerly the regime's notorious S-21 prison,  in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 01 Nov 2010
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks at a wall of faces of those killed by the Khmer Rouge regime, during a tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, formerly the regime's notorious S-21 prison, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 01 Nov 2010
Robert Carmichael

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has thrown her support behind the U.N. human rights office in Cambodia, and also addressed the issue of Cambodia's debt to the United States during a visit to Phnom Penh as part of two-week long tour of Asia.

The Cambodian government wants the United Nations to close its human rights office here.  But Secretary Clinton defended the office Monday, calling it "a valuable resource."

"It provides technical assistance to the government," Clinton said. "It also works with these NGOs [non-governmental organizations] that are in Cambodia, both Cambodian NGOs and international NGOs on a variety of concerns including human rights, trafficking in persons, and the rule of law." Clinton added, "So, the High Commissioner's office is active in ways that we think are very complementary to what the Cambodian government is committed to doing, and we think the work is important and we would like to see it continue."

While she endorsed the work of the U.N.-sponsored tribunal prosecuting the leaders of the Khmer Rouge, Clinton said her immediate priority is to ensure there is sufficient money to fund the next trial.  This second case of four Khmer Rouge leaders is set to begin next year, and she estimates will cost up to 50 million dollars to complete.

But the Cambodian government has said it wants the international tribunal to shut down after that case and not pursue more. Clinton noted the government's concerns about political instability should the tribunal prosecute more cases, a concern many human rights groups do not share.

"That is something that we in the international community should consult closely with the Cambodian government on," said Clinton.  "But the first piece of business is getting 002 to trial. And I want to see that happen as soon as possible.  So I will be personally reaching out to help raise the money to get that done," she said.

More than a million Cambodians died of starvation, illness and execution when the Khmer Rouge ruled the country in the 1970s.  The tribunal concluded its case, against a prison commandant, a few months ago.  

Clinton indicated the United States is willing to consider different options regarding $445 million that Cambodia owes it from the 1970s. The debt stemmed from U.S. support for the Lon Nol government, which ran Cambodia from 1970 to 1975 before the nation fell to the Khmer Rouge.

Phnom Penh says the debt should be canceled.  But talks on resolving the debt have not been held since 2006.

"We have agreed that the United States will send a team of experts as soon as possible to resume discussions over ways to settle this debt," said Clinton. "The discussions as you know ended in 2006. We very much want to see this matter resolved."

She added, however, that the United States would be interested in seeing the money spent in Cambodia on improving education or environmental protection, instead of taking a direct repayment.   

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid