Photograph: Pha Lina / Phnom Penh Post Cambodian Government Welcomes Sweden's Government Announce Swap for Development Cooperation with Cambodia Focusing on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law From July 2021.

The Swedish Embassy on June 12 issued a statement stating that the Swedish government made a decision on June 11, focusing its development cooperation on human rights, democracy and rule of law initiatives.

The shift is in line with Sweden's new strategic cooperation goals in Asia and the Pacific. "This means Sweden's bilateral strategy for Cambodia will end on July 1, 2021," the embassy wrote.

The embassy says that democracy, respect for human rights, freedom of expression, access to civil society and the media have been severely restricted. In Cambodia in recent years. Therefore, the Egg government considers it necessary to focus on cooperation in creating a situation for development that is different and Democrat.

Swedish International Development Cooperation Minister Peter Ericksson said in a press release that Cambodia's democracy had fallen sharply, making it difficult Continued comprehensive and close cooperation.

“We will continue to support civil society, human rights defenders and democracy advocates in Cambodia,” said Ericksson. "Sweden supports democratic principles and talks about it when it is broken."

According to the press release, Sweden's development assistance for Cambodia in 2019, which is under a bilateral development strategy About $ 24 million in grants. The Embassy website states that these grants are available to Cambodia in the areas of democracy and human rights, education, environment and climate, health, infrastructure, health, citizens and health Reproduction and other fields.

The Post could not be reached for comment by the Swedish embassy on the move.

However, Cambodian government officials welcome the announcement of the Swedish Embassy, ​​which focuses on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said: “This is the donor's right, and in terms of cooperation, donors always raise their point. Wanted. However, we all think that democracy in Cambodia is a principle that we have followed, committed to the Constitution. But what we see as a current twist for what is to be this social and rule of law. "

“We welcome but must stay together as partners to work together to put Cambodia in the right position Political stability is at peace and is in mutual assistance, based on the sovereignty of each country and its state Partnerships. ”

Chin Malin, spokesman for the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, said yesterday that Sweden had provided assistance to Cambodia on a case-by-case basis. Human Rights and Democracy. Sometimes there is a consensus and disagreement regarding democracy.

He said that through the discussions and discussions, the two sides have come to understand a lot of different opinions and assessments. He said Cambodia would continue to cooperate with Sweden through dialogue, debate and dialogue to better understand each other .

However, he said, in his research, aid to civil society organizations largely failed to promote democracy and human rights. "Because this seems to encourage the empowerment or the weapons for civil society to confront the government with this strategy. Called a confrontational strategy, but less successful. But another strategy that is more successful is the cooperative and complementary strategy. ”