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Risch, Markey, Romney, Menendez Announce Resolution Marking 30-Year Anniversary of Cambodia Paris Peace Agreements

Senators call upon Cambodian government to live up to its commitments to democracy and neutrality. 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), chairman and ranking member of the East Asia Subcommittee on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today announced a resolution commemorating the landmark Cambodia Paris Peace Agreements. The Agreements, which were agreed to by 19 countries on October 23, 1991, laid the foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, democratic, and sovereign Cambodia after 12 years of a brutal civil war. The resolution notes that the promise of the Paris Peace Agreements remains unfulfilled due to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s violations of Cambodia’s Constitution and effective one-party rule since 1993.

“As we recognize all the Cambodian people have done for their country since the signing of the Paris Peace Agreements, we must also acknowledge the goals of the agreement are far from being realized. The Cambodian government continues to engage in arbitrary detentions, restrict free and fair elections, and suppress fundamental freedoms,” said Risch. “Today, I join my colleagues in remembering the Paris Peace Agreements as an important milestone for the Cambodian people, and urging the Cambodian government to implementing its commitments under it.”

“With this resolution, we commemorate the diplomatic triumph of the Peace Paris Agreements, 30 years after its signing, and acknowledge the work that remains to realize a democratic and sovereign Cambodia,” said Markey. “It is incumbent that all signatories to the Agreements, led by the United States, work to halt the current assault on democracy by demanding that Prime Minister Hun Sen hold free and fair elections, drop politically motivated charges against political opponents, and respect Cambodia’s constitutional commitment to neutrality. These bedrock principles of the Agreements are worth defending and remain as relevant today as they were three decades ago.” 

“The Paris Peace Accords marked the end of decades of violent conflict in Cambodia and set up a framework which would establish an independent Cambodia. As we mark the 30th anniversary of the accords, we urge the Cambodian government to uphold democratic values laid out in that agreement and defend their sovereignty in the region,” said Romney.

“I am grateful to join my colleagues in introducing this critical resolution that demonstrates the United States’ unflinching commitment to the people of Cambodia in their pursuit of peace, prosperity, and democratic governance over the last thirty years and for generations to come,” said Menendez. “On this anniversary, we honor the values enshrined in the Peace Agreements with a call to our international partners to reaffirm their support for the defense of fundamental freedoms in Cambodia, and urge Prime Minister Hun Sen to halt his authoritarian overreach and oppression of his own people. Three decades later, Cambodians’ future cannot be jeopardized further by attempts to deny fair, multiparty elections, freedom of speech, and other basic rights.”

A copy of the resolution can be found here.

The resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that it:

  • Remains committed to the Cambodian people and their aspirations for a more peaceful, prosperous, democratic, and sovereign country, as envisioned in the Paris Peace Agreements, with the support of the international community;
  • Calls upon all signatories of the Paris Peace Agreements, including Cambodian stakeholders, to reaffirm their commitments under the Agreements, the fulfillment of which will advance the peace, prosperity, rights, and freedoms enjoyed by the Cambodian people 30 years after their signing; and
  • Emphasizes the need for the Government of Cambodia—
    • to commit to free and fair multiparty elections in the upcoming communal elections in 2022 and national elections in 2023 as an expression of its commitment to the self-determination of the Cambodian people;
    • to uphold its commitments to protecting human rights, democratic institutions, and free and fair elections;
    • to dismiss all politically motivated charges, prosecutions, and sentencings of the opposition, journalists, and civil society activists; and to refrain from actions that violate its constitutional commitment to neutrality.