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1 Strengthen Democracy by strengthening Civil Society in Cambodia “ A SINGLE STICK BREAKS EASILY, BUT A BUNDLE STANDS THE STRAIN” Nhek Sarin, Executive.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Strengthen Democracy by strengthening Civil Society in Cambodia “ A SINGLE STICK BREAKS EASILY, BUT A BUNDLE STANDS THE STRAIN” Nhek Sarin, Executive."— Presentation transcript:

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2 1 Strengthen Democracy by strengthening Civil Society in Cambodia “ A SINGLE STICK BREAKS EASILY, BUT A BUNDLE STANDS THE STRAIN” Nhek Sarin, Executive Director of STAR Kampuchea ASPBAE Basic Leadership Development Course March 29, 2008 Siem Reap, Cambodia

3 2 CONTENTS 1. Cambodian Geography and Its current situation 2. Cambodian History 3. Cambodian Democracy 4. Bad Governance 5. Development of Cambodian NGOs 6. Achievements of Cambodian NGOs 7. Conclusion

4 3 1. Cambodian Geography and Its Current Situation 1. Cambodian Geography and Its Current Situation Total Land: Km squares Total Land: Km squares Population: around 13 millions Population: around 13 millions 53% of total population are women, 65% of them working for agricultural and textile industry sectors 53% of total population are women, 65% of them working for agricultural and textile industry sectors 91% of the country’s poor living in rural areas 91% of the country’s poor living in rural areas Agriculture sector accounts for almost half of total economics Agriculture sector accounts for almost half of total economics Civil wars from the diminished the country’s population and thus vital human resources Civil wars from the diminished the country’s population and thus vital human resources “Cambodia Is A poor Country”

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7 6 2.Cambodian History Angkor: Glory Empire between 12 th – 16 th Century Angkor: Glory Empire between 12 th – 16 th Century 1865 – 1953 French Colonial Era 1865 – 1953 French Colonial Era 1953 – 1970 Monarchy Regime 1953 – 1970 Monarchy Regime 1970 – 1975 Republic Regime 1970 – 1975 Republic Regime 1975 – 1979 Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge Terror 1975 – 1979 Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge Terror

8 7 Brother number 1: Pol Pot (Saloth Sar), CPK Secretary- General Prime Minister of DK,

9 8 Genocide against Buddhist monks, Khmer krom (Khmers with Vietnamese descent), the Vietnamese, the Chinese, the Muslim Cham minorities. Genocide against Buddhist monks, Khmer krom (Khmers with Vietnamese descent), the Vietnamese, the Chinese, the Muslim Cham minorities. “the Year Zero”. “the Year Zero”.

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12 11 Cambodia Killing Field sites,

13 12 …Cambodian History 1979 – 1989 People’s Republic of Kampuchea 1979 – 1989 People’s Republic of Kampuchea 1991Paris Peace Accord 1991Paris Peace Accord 1992Start of the UNTAC Era 1992Start of the UNTAC Era

14 13 …Cambodian History 1993 First National Election 1993 First National Election 1993Passing of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia 1993Passing of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia 1996 Violent conflicts 1996 Violent conflicts nd National Election / stalemate of government formation nd National Election / stalemate of government formation rd National Election rd National Election th National Election be in 27 July th National Election be in 27 July

15 14 3. Cambodian Democracy Elections - not satisfactory free and fair Elections - not satisfactory free and fair Executive, legislative and court – the power is not clearly separate Executive, legislative and court – the power is not clearly separate Constitution, based on principles of liberal democracy and pluralism – but is not fully implemented Constitution, based on principles of liberal democracy and pluralism – but is not fully implemented

16 15  Freedom of the press, of expression, to form political parties and associations – not always respected Cambodia can hardly be seen as a full democracy in a broader sense. Cambodia can hardly be seen as a full democracy in a broader sense. Hun Sen’s CPP has no real challenges to his power. Hun Sen’s CPP has no real challenges to his power.

17 16 4. Bad Governance…  Shrinking democratic space and human rights violations  Bureaucracy; lack of transparency  Corruption within the government, administration and the court; impunity.

18 17 …Bad Governance - Nepotism within the private and the public sector - No protection of rights of Cambodia’s indigenous ethnic minorities Global Witness report “Cambodian Family Trees” June 2007: Cambodia is run by an elite that generate much of its wealth via the seizure of public assets, particularly natural resources”. Global Witness report “Cambodian Family Trees” June 2007: Cambodia is run by an elite that generate much of its wealth via the seizure of public assets, particularly natural resources”.

19 18 5. Development of the Cambodian NGOs Establishment of CSOs/NGOs, most of them concentrating on human rights, democracy, fair election and relief work. Establishment of CSOs/NGOs, most of them concentrating on human rights, democracy, fair election and relief work. CSOs have become a political actor in Cambodia CSOs have become a political actor in Cambodia Today there are approx. 2,000 registered NGOs in Cambodia Today there are approx. 2,000 registered NGOs in Cambodia

20 19 …. Development of the Cambodian NGOs At the beginning, the government did not recognize NGOs as legitimate political actors. At the beginning, the government did not recognize NGOs as legitimate political actors. Until today NGOs are partly oppressed and threatened by the government. For example, some NGO and unions federation’s activists were jailed in December Until today NGOs are partly oppressed and threatened by the government. For example, some NGO and unions federation’s activists were jailed in December 2005.

21 20 6. Achievements of the Cambodian NGOs NGOs address the political system to express their opinions and express their opinions and influence decision makers. influence decision makers. They address the political system formally and informally and formally and informally and at high and low political levels. at high and low political levels.

22 21 …Achievements of the Cambodian NGOs Public Forums That are meetings with authorities to create a basis for policy making and peaceful conflict solution at the local level. Public Forums That are meetings with authorities to create a basis for policy making and peaceful conflict solution at the local level. Cooperation to education authorities and the people Includes workshops, training courses, seminars. Cooperation to education authorities and the people Includes workshops, training courses, seminars.

23 22 …Achievements of the Cambodian NGOs Participation in the legislative process Includes lobbying, workshops and meetings to discuss draft laws with state representatives. Participation in the legislative process Includes lobbying, workshops and meetings to discuss draft laws with state representatives. Other co-operations Include cooperation in working groups or joint organization of events. Other co-operations Include cooperation in working groups or joint organization of events.

24 23 …Achievements of the Cambodian NGOs Nearly all NGOs stay in contact with the local authorities in the provinces Nearly all NGOs stay in contact with the local authorities in the provinces Many NGOs are able to address high governmental representatives and ministries Many NGOs are able to address high governmental representatives and ministries

25 24 …Conclusion NGOs participates in several political processes; sometime their political participation of NGOs is restricted NGOs participates in several political processes; sometime their political participation of NGOs is restricted Represent, strengthen and channel the voice of the people; Represent, strengthen and channel the voice of the people; Act as the people’s advocates towards the government Act as the people’s advocates towards the government

26 25 …Conclusion Regular contact with state representatives Regular contact with state representatives Contributes ideas and recommendation into the legislative process Contributes ideas and recommendation into the legislative process Voices are heard by the government, but more often ignored Voices are heard by the government, but more often ignored Well recognized in the public, by international organizations and the media Well recognized in the public, by international organizations and the media

27 26 …Conclusion The development of a strong NGOs movement and political participation are important steps on the way towards pluralist democracy The development of a strong NGOs movement and political participation are important steps on the way towards pluralist democracy NGOs contribute to a continuing democratization in Cambodia NGOs contribute to a continuing democratization in Cambodia

28 27 WANGO CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT AWARD, HUNGARY 2004 WANGO CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT AWARD, HUNGARY 2004

29 28 Plan for tomorrow, but LIVE for today THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR ATTENTION!!!!


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