Visit of the German Federal Parliament’s ASEAN Group in Cambodia
Enlarge image (© Deutsche Botschaft)
A 7-member all party delegation from the German Federal Parliament’s ASEAN Group visited Cambodia from 8th to 12th July 2015 as part of its fact-finding tour of South East Asia. The delegation, led by Dr. Thomas Gambke (BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN) also included Mr. Johann Saathoff and Mr. Rainer Spiering (SPD), Dr. Joachim Pfeiffer, Mr. Erwin Rüddel and Mrs. Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker (CDU/CSU) and Dr. André Hahn (Die LINKE).
In Phnom Penh, the delegation had separate meetings in Parliament with the President of the Senate Samdech Say Chhum, the 2nd Vice President of the National Assembly H.E. Ngoun Nhel and four commissions of the National Assembly. Meetings with the Royal Government were hosted by the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Samdech Sar Kheng, and H.E. Sun Chanthol, Minister of Commerce. The delegation also met representatives from the National Election Committee, OHCHR, local NGOs and opposition party leader H.E. Sam Rainsy (CNRP). Discussions were wide-ranging and included Cambodia’s economic development, the new electoral law, the draft Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) and human rights. At a roundtable evening hosted by the German Ambassador to Cambodia, Joachim von Marschall, the delegation had the opportunity to engage informally with a wide range of government, civil society and trade union representatives on important themes, such as Cambodia in ASEAN, good governance and the rule of law, labour rights and women’s rights. The Parliamentarians also learned about German development cooperation and investment in Cambodia from representatives of the four German political foundations represented in the region, GIZ and the German Business Group in Cambodia.
Field trips included a visit to a footwear factory in Takeo Province at the invitation of Puma General Director for Asia, Dr. Reiner Hengstmann. In Siem Reap the delegation were briefed by Prof. Dr. Hans Leisen, German Apsara Conservation Project and a GIZ expert Thomas Bernecker on the challenges of preserving the world cultural heritage site of Angkor Wat. The delegation’s final stop back in Phnom Penh was the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, where they were briefed on Germany’s financial and expert assistance to the Victims Support Section of the ECCC. The MPs had an opportunity to talk with survivors of the S-21 Prison and laid lotus blossoms on the steps of the memorial stupa.