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Cambodia: UN expert to complete follow up on human rights progress and challenges ahead

GENEVA / PHNOM PENH (14 May 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Surya P. Subedi, will carry out an official visit to the country from 19 to 25 May 2013 to further explore the progress achieved on the implementation of the recommendations made in his previous reports on the judiciary, parliamentary reform, electoral reform and economic land concessions.

“Two decades have passed since the adoption of the Paris Peace Agreements, which consolidated the peace process in Cambodia,” Mr Subedi said, “the time is ripe to take stock of the progress made in strengthening democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and focus on the remaining challenges.”

The independent expert’s mission also comes on the eve of the National Assembly elections in July, which the Special Rapporteur believes to be an important landmark in the country’s journey towards democratization.

Since his appointment in March 2009, the expert has made eight visits to the Kingdom of Cambodia to date and has presented five reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council, which renewed his mandate for a further two years in March 2011. The focus on the next mission is to complete his follow-up, which he began during his last visit to the country in December 2012.

Reiterating that his wish is to constructively assist the Royal Government in implementing his recommendations, Mr Subedi said that he hopes “the dialogue will also help to create an environment that would be conducive to free and fair elections and in line with international human rights standards.”

During his visit, the human rights expert hopes to meet with the King, the Prime Minister and other key Government leaders, as well as members of the National Assembly and the judiciary. He is also expected to meet with human rights defenders, representatives from civil society organizations and communities as well as the donor community and the United Nations Country Team.

At the end of his seven-day mission, the Special Rapporteur will release a press statement highlighting the issues raised during his meetings and summarizing his initial conclusions.

Mr Subedi will present his next report to the Human Rights Council at its September 2013 session.

Professor Surya P. Subedi was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia in March 2009. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organisation and serves in his individual capacity. He is currently Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

UN Human Rights, country page – Cambodia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/KHIndex.aspx

For additional information and media enquiries, please contact:
In Phnom Penh: Ms. Zoe Latumbo, (+855 12 790 178 / zlatumbo@ohchr.org)
In Geneva: Ms. Olga Nakajo (+41 22 928 9348 / onakajo@ohchr.org) or write to srcambodia@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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