Subedi Calls on Gov’t, Opposition to Serve, Not Rule

In a farewell statement Thursday, outgoing U.N. human rights envoy Surya Subedi said that despite improvements, both the government and opposition needed to better ensure the rights of Cambodians.

“Cambodia still has some way to go…to make the ideals of a liberal democracy a reality for its people,” said Mr. Subedi, who has served as special rapporteur to Cambodia on human rights since March 2009.

While noting the government’s duty to protect the rights of Cambodian citizens, Mr. Subedi said the opposition CNRP “must also not disappoint the people who came out in such numbers to support them in the past two years.”

Mr. Subedi added that with a number of significant laws—including recent electoral reforms—being passed without “meaningful public participation,” both major political parties needed to do more to represent the wishes of their constituents.

“For genuine, long-lasting stability in the country, it is crucial that the people of Cambodia feel that they are well served—served, not ruled—by their political representatives,” he said.

Mr. Subedi will be replaced by Rhona Smith, a professor at Northumbria University in the U.K.

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