Cambodia-UN Joint Statement on ECCC’s Progress and Achievements

The following is the Joint Statement by H.E. Dr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers and Chairman of the Royal Government Task Force on the Khmer Rouge Trials and U.N. Secretary-General's Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Ambassador David Scheffer on the progress and achievements of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, released after their meeting in Phnom Penh on Feb. 19:

"As the Supreme Court Chamber was conducting the final stage of appeal hearings in Case 002/01 - hearings that were broadcast on Cambodian national television throughout the country - a constructive meeting regarding ongoing developments at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) was held yesterday at the Office of the Council of Ministers between Deputy Prime Minister His Excellency Dr Sok An and Ambassador David Scheffer during his latest regular visit to Cambodia.

The parties expressed strong support for the work of the Court, and noted that the Trial Chamber is continuing to adjudicate Case 002/02, that the latest Completion Plan envisages completion of that trial by the fourth quarter of 2016 and a Supreme Court Chamber judgment in the appeal of Case 002/01 by mid-year, and that a number of steps have been taken in recent months regarding Cases 003 and 004.

They recognised the continuing financial support by the Royal Government of Cambodia to the national component, amounting to a total of US$22.6 million since 2006 as well as further contributions in kind, estimated by the Cambodian government at more than $13 million. They also noted with appreciation the voluntary funding by foreign donors and further assistance by the United Nations that enables the international and national components of the ECCC to continue to operate with full financial support each year. The parties discussed how to achieve voluntary funding targets for 2016 and appealed for timely foreign contributions to both the national and international components of the Court, including from ASEAN governments.

Once again this week, the public gallery of the ECCC was filled with observers, a large number of whom were brought to the Court by the Public Affairs Section from throughout the country. A number of the almost 4,000 Civil Parties in Case 002 also attended, brought by the Victims Support Section with support from Germany and from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. Such unprecedented public participation in the proceedings of the ECCC is one of its particular accomplishments, also supported over the years by some NGOs. They noted that to date almost half a million Cambodians have visited the ECCC or participated in its outreach events throughout the country - a figure that shows the exceptional importance that the Cambodian people attach to the work of the ECCC and that provides a positive example for other such courts.

These achievements in discharging its judicial mandate, conducting outreach, and providing strong victim participation demonstrate the value of the ECCC and serve to counter misperceptions occasionally circulating in commentary about the Court.

Both parties expressed appreciation for the more than 30 countries that have supported the ECCC financially since its formation, and for the continuing support by the Cambodian and international media in projecting coverage of the important work of the Court throughout the country as it moves forward to seek justice for the crimes committed in Cambodia some 40 years ago."

Source: AKP