PHNOM PENH, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — The United Nations’ new special rapporteur on human rights situation in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, concluded her first mission to Cambodia on Thursday, vowing to work without bias to enhance human rights in the country.
Smith, who succeeded Surya P. Subedi, whose six-year term was ended in April, started her first trip to the kingdom Wednesday last week to monitor human rights situation.
“The key objectives of this mission were two-fold: introductory to establish cordial and constructive relationships with the government and other interlocutors as a basis for an effective discharge of my mandate, and fact-finding, as I report to the United Nations Human Rights Council next week in Geneva,” she said in a press conference at the end of her visit.
She said over the course of nine days, she had met with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Interior Minister Sar Kheng, Cabinet Minister Sok An, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, Cambodian Human Rights Committee chairman Mak Sambath, parliamentarians, senators, and other stakeholders.
A number of topics, including respect for human rights, good governance, democracy, rule of law, judiciary, racial discrimination, and land concessions, had been discussed during these meetings, she said.
Meanwhile, Smith hailed Cambodia for its rapid development and growing role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the world at large. She also appreciated the country for allowing social media and civil society to flourish.