U.N. and Cambodia Finally Reach Agreement on Prosecuting Khmer Rouge

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Thursday, May 1, 2003
Bruce Zagaris
On March 17, 2003 in Phnom Penh, the United Nations and Cambodia announced they reached a draft framework agreement concerning the prosecution under Cambodia’s laws of crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea during the 1970s. Mr. Corell explained that the agreement required the Extraordinary Chambers must exercise jurisdiction in accordance with international standards of justice, fairness and due process of law. The agreement specifically refers to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Cambodia has ratified. In explaining the difference in circumstances between the new agreement and February 2002 when the Secretary-General withdrew from the process, Mr. Corell explained that Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary-General, had lost confidence in the process but the General Assembly had now taken responsibility for the process and would examine the result of the negotiations and decide whether it is acceptable. The new agreement that was reached is based on a draft presented by the General assembly under the sponsorship of France and Japan.