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Cambodia warns 4 UN representatives for criticism of draft NGO bill

Updated:2015-05-22 11:57:48   English.news.cn

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong (1st R) meets with representatives of the UN agencies to Cambodia in Phnom Penh May 21, 2015. Hor Namhong Thursday warned four representatives of the UN agencies for their criticism of a draft NGO law in a meeting. (Xinhua/Sovannara)

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong Thursday warned four representatives of the UN agencies for their criticism of a draft NGO law in a meeting.

The meeting was convened after Wan-Hea Lea, representative of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to Cambodia, Rana Flowers, head of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)- Cambodia, Marc Derveeuw, representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-Cambodia, and Wenny Kusuma, representative of UN Women-Cambodia, criticized the Draft Law on the Association and the Non-Governmental Organization on the Phnom Penh Post newspaper last week.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Hor Namhong said he told the representatives to perform their activities by respecting the UN Charter and their specific mandate.

He said the Article 2, Paragraph 7 of the UN Charter, stipulates that "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the UN to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state."

"I told them that in their capacity as UN agencies, they must respect the UN Charter's article 2," said Hor Namhong, who is also a deputy prime minister.

He said this draft of law has nothing to do with human rights, with children, with Cambodian population or women.

"As a state of law, we just want to know who does what in this sovereign country and member of the United Nations, we need transparency and order when thousands of NGOs, Civil Societies and Associations perform their duties throughout the country," he said.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also slammed the United States Ambassador to Cambodia, William Todd, for his criticism of the draft NGO law.

In a diplomatic note to the U.S. Embassy, the ministry said, " The words expressed by the foreign Ambassador to Cambodia are extremely insolent, even if he is a representative of a big country."

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on April 5 that the proposed NGO law will require NGOs to register their nationalities with the government in order to have legal standing, and they are required to file reports on their activities and finances each year to the government.

"We do not make the law to prevent the activities of NGOs, but we want to see NGOs operate transparently in this country," he said.

The law also aims at fighting against terrorism financing, money laundering, and creation of illegal armed forces, he added.

Keyword:   Cambodia criticism NGO bill
Editor: 王静