EU To Pledge $1.3 Million for KR Tribunal

The European Commission in­tends to contribute about $1.3 million to the Khmer Rouge tribunal, Winston Mc Colgan, Euro­pe­an Com­mission Charge d’Af­fairs said Friday.

The international community is ex­pected to provide $43 million through the UN toward the $56.3 million tribunal. With the Euro­pean Commission’s con­tri­bution, the amount pledged by the international community will reach about $39.9 million.

The government has stated that it will only contribute $1.5 million in cash and will seek bilateral partners to cover the rest of its share.

“There are still some funds to be raised and the tribunal must be pre­pared thoroughly, but I very much hope we will see [it] start by the end of the year,” Mc Colgan said.

Youk Chhang, director of the Doc­umentation Center of Cam­bo­dia, welcomed the announcement, add­ing that it may now be time for Ase­an member countries to contri­bute.

“Neighboring Asian countries can also chip in because the shortfall is getting very small,” Youk Chhang said. “Human rights are not just about Europeans.”

He added that he hoped both Fin­­land and New Zealand will also step forward to help fund the long-awaited trial.

Kek Galabru, founder of local rights group Licadho, said she had ex­pected the European Com­mis­sion to pledge between $2 million and $3 million. “Now they need $3 million more. I don’t think New Zealand will pay that much,” Kek Galabru said.

Scandinavian countries are re­luctant to contribute to the trial be­­cause they believe it will not meet in­­ter­national standards, she said.

The US also reiterated on April 21 that it will not fund the trial until such standards are assured.

Although the figure to be provided by the international community is almost met, the small amount of money that remains to be raised may be used to further delay the trial, Kek Galabru warned.

Sean Visoth, secretary of the gov­­ernment’s Khmer Rouge task force, said he was too busy to discuss the tribunal on Friday.

Related Stories

Latest News