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Cambodia after the UNTAC - the 1990ies

In cooperation with the Meta House Gallery the KAF hosts a panel discussion about "Cambodia after the UNTAC - 1990ies". After more than 20 years of violence and isolation artists and intellectuals resume their role to publicly reflect reality.

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at Pannanastra International School (PSIS) Conference Hall No. 18 A, Street 370 on February 25 2008, 7 PM


Our panel will look at how the changed situation in the 1990s, both inside and outside Cambodia led to a revival of the demand for justice as in the previous decade of the 1980s.

Dr. Benny Widyono: Dr. Benny Widyono will discuss the diplomatic maneuverings and intrigues in the United Nations New York –from the adoption of the Genocide Convention in 1948 to the backing the Khmer Rouge in the 1980s to post-UNTAC awakening of memory about the Cambodian genocide, and to the new diplomacy about genocide diplomacy in the wake of genocides in Rwanda, Yugoslavia Kosovo and Darfur and the response or lack thereof of the international community. According to this UN expert big power politics dominates the United Nations, and the small countries are often caught in the middle.

Peou Dara Vanthan (DC-Cam): The forum will also cover comprehensive research and documentation centre known as DC-Cam. With so much evidence compiled by 1996-8 period, why did it take so long to bring about the KRT (ECCC) Khmer Rouge tribunal?


19:00 – 19:05 Greetings by Meta House, Introduction of guest speakers and moderator

19:05 – 19:10 Greetings by Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF)

19:10 – 19:20 Introduction to the topic

19:20 – 19:50 Dr Benny Widyono

5 minutes Break for audience reflection

19:55 – 20:25 Peou Dara Vanthan (DC-Cam)

5 minutes Break for audience reflection

20:30 – 20:40 Summary by moderator

20:40 – 21:00 Questions and debate

Biography of the speakers and moderator:

Peou Dara Vanthan (Deputy Director of DC-Cam): Peou Dara Vanthan was a child in North - Eastern part of Cambodia when Khmer Rouge genocide occurred between 1975 and 1979. He moved to Phnom Penh alone in 1987 for study purpose without any relatives and with his parents' support. He graduated with a bachelor in Laws from the Faculty of Law and Economics (now known as Royal University of Law and Economics) in 1997. He continued his study in the United States of America in 2003 at University of Notre Dame Law School. He graduated cum laude in Master of Law. Vanthan started working at DC-Cam as volunteer in earlier 1996, and holds now the position as Deputy Director of DC-Cam.

The Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) is an independent Cambodian research institute dedicated to promoting memory and justice in Cambodia. The Documentation Center of Cambodia shares its documents and analyses with officials, scholars, and the general public in an impartial manner, seeking to contribute to an objective history of the Democratic Kampuchea period and to promote accountability for the abuses of that period. The Documentation Center of Cambodia is not an organ of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) or any other judicial body.

Dr. Benny Widyono: Dr. Benny Widyono, an Indonesian citizen, was a career United Nations Diplomat throughout most of his working life. He was intimately connected to the Cambodian tragedy through his two postings in the country: In 1992-93 as the UNTAC shadow governor in Siem Reap province and in 1994-97 as the United Nations Secretary-General's Personal Envoy to the Royal Government of Cambodia. Prior to that, in his positing in Bangkok and New York he was also closely following the Cambodian problem, 1970 to 1992. After retirement he was an adviser to the Cambodian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. He just published a book entitled: Dancing in Shadows: Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge and the United Nations in Cambodia" Rowman Littlefield: Lanham, U.K and New York: October 2007.

Chair person/ Moderator Raymond Leos

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Pannanastra International School (PSIS)


Wolfgang Meyer

Leiter des Auslandsbüros in China (Beijing)

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