Senate unanimously passes Markey resolution to commemorate peace agreement and call on the Cambodian government to fulfill the democratic promise of the accords, as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen participates in ASEAN Leaders Summit in D.C.
Washington (May 12, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the East Asia Subcommittee on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee, and Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today welcomed Senate passage of their resolution commemorating the landmark Cambodia Paris Peace Agreements. The Agreements, signed 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 – a commitment that the current government’s actions threaten to undermine. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is currently in Washington, D.C. participating in a White House summit for leaders of the ten-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which Cambodia currently chairs.
“Yesterday, the Senate sent an unmistakable message to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen: his government must live up to the democratic promise of the Paris Peace Agreements, not turn back the clock on peace,” said Chairman Markey. “Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party have failed to meet the promise of the Paris Peace Agreements and the Cambodian Constitution which provide the foundation for free and fair elections, human rights, and a commitment to neutrality. Congress must also pass the Cambodia Democracy and Human Rights Act, which I introduced with Senator Rubio, to make it clear that the United States, is unshakably committed to the people of Cambodia and their constitutional right to democracy.”
“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 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 Senator Romney.
“I applaud the Senate passage of our resolution demonstrating 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,” Chairman Menendez said. “Today 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.”
“The Cambodian government continues to violate its citizens’ internationally recognized human rights and allow the Chinese military to establish a presence inside Cambodia despite commitments it made in the Paris Peace Agreements 30 years ago,” said Ranking Member Risch. “I’m glad the Senate came together today to urge the government of Cambodia to fulfill its commitments to democracy, human rights, and neutrality.”
A copy of the resolution can be found HERE.
Senators Markey, Romney, Menendez and Risch introduced this resolution last October, on the 30-year anniversary of the Agreements. 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.
Last year, Senators Markey, Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Cambodia Democracy and Human Rights Act, which would impose targeted sanctions on those senior officials of Cambodia’s government, military, or security forces that the President has determined has undermined democracy in Cambodia, engaged in significant corruption, or committed related human rights violations.