31 March 2006

Secretary-General Concerned over Remarks of Cambodia's Prime Minister Concerning Work of UN Human Rights Officials

NEW YORK, 30 March (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is concerned over recent remarks attributed to the Prime Minister of Cambodia regarding the work of the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in that country.

The Secretary-General recalls that the mandates of the Special Representative and the human rights office in Cambodia were established in 1993 by the international community, through the Commission on Human Rights and the General Assembly, to monitor respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and to help the Government and the Cambodian people in ensuring that the standards accepted by the Government are observed.  These mandates have been renewed in full consultation with the Cambodian authorities.  This is in recognition both of the continuing need for this essential work in Cambodia and of the contributions made by the different Special Representatives, who have carried out their duties with independence, integrity and expertise, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner.

The Secretary-General trusts the Cambodian authorities will continue to offer their cooperation to the Special Representative and to the Cambodia Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

* *** *