The Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded its 49th Session on April 01, 2022 after having hosted 41 interactive dialogues with thematic and country special rapporteurs, 09 general debates and 08 panel discussions as well as having adopted 35 resolutions on thematic and country-specific issues.

According to a press statement of the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Nations Office at Geneva AKP received this morning, during the said 5-week interactions (Feb. 28-April 01, 2022), the Permanent Mission delivered a total of 33 statements, featuring normative and practical achievements and progress of Cambodia in all categories of human rights—civil, political, social, economic and cultural, including right to development. The delegation of Cambodia also contributed to debates on improvement of the working methods of the Council and Special Rapporteurs, and consideration of human rights situation in a number of countries.

Below are highlights of Cambodia’s statements delivered in the said exchanges.

• Cambodia’s response to the Covid-19 has held human rights at the core, especially right to life, health and survival. Eight rounds of “Cash Scheme” of over USD 600 million have benefited nearly 700,000 impoverished households or about 2.8 million individuals. Our free national inoculation campaign has achieved more than 90% of the total population, well ahead of the target set by the World Health Organization.

• While walking the talk, “No one can be safe until everyone is safe”, Cambodia has donated millions of masks along with vaccines and other medical gears to several countries in our solidarity and collective efforts to contain the infection surge.

• As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Cambodia has made a great stride in enabling the Person with Disabilities (PwDs) to access social welfare services, as guided by the time-bound National Disability Strategic Plan (2019-2023). In 2021, the UNDP applauded Cambodia as one of the leading countries in empowering the PwDs.

• On right to food, Cambodia remains committed to promoting the sustainable food system and achieving food security and nutrition for all, manifested through the four main priority areas to realize the National 2030 Food Systems Vision. The Agricultural Sector Master Plan 2030 has been launched to enable farmers to attain inclusive and sustainable agricultural system, especially for the seed development. In addition, an Inclusive Business Enabling Environment for Cambodia (IBeeC) was also developed as a new cross-cutting policy to favor strategic partnerships with smallholder farmers, including indigenous people and farmworker equity.

• To contribute to eliminating violence against children globally by 2030, Cambodia, since 2006, has put several mechanisms and policy instruments into place to protect children against violence, namely, the National Social Protection Framework 2016-2025, Law on Juvenile Justice, Law on Intercountry Adoption and draft Child Protection Law, the National Policy 2019-2029 on Child Protection System. A “Strong Family Communication” campaign and a project “Ending Violence Against Children in and around Schools in Cambodia” (ENDVAC) have been launched to promote child rights and protect children.

• On cultural right, in addition to the ratification of numerous culture-related conventions, certain legislations and national policies, including Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage and National Policy for Culture, have been adopted to protect and promote cultural values and to open a wider cultural horizon for enabling an environment for the development of higher quality cultural goods and services in Cambodia.

• Lauded for interfaith tolerance and religious harmony due to the government’s positive and inclusive approach to all religions and races, Cambodia remains resolute in maintaining national unity and harmony among all ethnicities as the groundwork for the realization of the SDGs. National Policy on Development of Ethnic Minorities, Indigenous Communal Land Registration, and the Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development 2020-2026, were launched to guarantee their land tenure and to prevent disputes as well as to ensure inclusiveness of minorities.

• Cambodia cherishes gender equality and empowerment of women, which must be at the forefront in all sectors. They have been at the helm of our prevention and response endeavors to the Covid-19 pandemic. On peace and security, Cambodia is proud of being ranked 13th among the 122 nations and 2nd in ASEAN in terms of deploying women peacekeepers under the UN peacekeeping operation missions.

• The Kingdom will host later this year the 2nd ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit under the theme “Building More Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient: Unlocking Women’s Entrepreneurship in ASEAN”.

• Addressing the surge of hate speech, disinformation and incitement disguised under the freedom of expression should be a priority of the HRC.

• Cambodia supports all endeavors to improve the work of the Special Rapporteurs, including the call for the establishment of an oversight mechanism to guarantee their effective implementation of the Code of Conduct. Independence cannot shy away from accountability.

• Finally, Cambodia co-sponsored a number of Joint Statements on the topics of Covid-19 vaccines, child’s rights, technical assistance and capacity building, right to development, etc.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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