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Rights, Border Should Be on Ban Agenda: Rights Worker

Pung Chiv Kek, founder of Licadho.
Pung Chiv Kek, founder of Licadho.

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes his first visit to Cambodia, a leading rights worker hopes he'll be able to find a solution to Cambodia's border and human rights issues.

Pung Chiv Kek, founder of the rights group Licadho, said Cambodia must appreciate the meaning of the Paris Peace Agreement of 1991.

Not only was the agreement—which brought peace after years of strife—signed by fighting factions and 18 nations, but it was signed by the UN secretary-general, as well, Pung Chiv Kek said, as a guest on “Hello VOA” Monday.

“So I believe that the current UN secretary-general, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, also has an important role,” she said. “He has to find peace for every country in the world, as stipulated in the UN charter. So when he comes, event though it's a short time...I hope he will raise these issues.”

The Cambodian government is under pressure to shore up its borders, with a longstanding border dispute with Thailand and accusations from the opposition of Vietnamese encroachment to the east.

The UN secretary-general also has a mandate to protect human rights, Pung Chiv Kek said, “so I believe he will raise this issue with our government.”

Ban is on a two-day visit Wednesday and Thursday. He met with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday.