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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs