Phnom Penh (FN) May 9 – The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, was pleased that many senior Government ministers took the opportunity to share information on progress in response to her previous recommendations as well as updates since my last mission, according to her statement at the end of her visit on Thursday.
“I have now completed my seventh mission in my capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia. I would like to thank the Government for its invitation to visit and the willingness of so many State officials to meet with me and discuss openly human rights and sustainable development in Cambodia,” she said.
“I was pleased that many senior Government ministers took the opportunity to share information on progress in response to my previous recommendations as well as updates since my last mission. I also met with a wide range of relevant stakeholders, including representatives of civil society, the diplomatic community and the UN Country Team. In addition I met with a number of people and groups who submitted petitions or requested meetings with me. Most of these petitions concerned land rights; others related to freedom of expression and assembly,” Smith wrote in her statement.
During her mission, the Special Rapporteur had the privilege of meeting with a number of senior officials, in particular Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, H.E. Chea Sophara, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Chhay Than, Senior Minister and Minister of Planning along with H.E. Hang Lina, Director General of the National Institute of Statistics, H.E. Ang Vong Vathana, Minister of Justice, H.E. Mam Bunheng, Minister of Health, H.E. Vong Sauth, Minister of Social Affairs Veterans & Youth Rehabilitation, H.E. Khuong Sreng, Governor of Phnom Penh, H.E. Keo Remy, President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, H.E. Kheang Seng, Deputy President of Anti-corruption Unit, and H.E. Meas Vyrith, Secretary-General of National Authority for Combatting Drugs.
During her 11-day visit, the UN independent expert had examined Cambodian human rights with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals, looking in particular at non-discrimination and equality, and participation and accountability. She will present her report to the council in September.
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