Monday, May 3, 2010

Accountability in Governance and Politics Program Launched

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Sates of America have launched a five-year program with US$ 16.2 million program designed to promote accountability and transparency in government in Cambodia.

The Official Launch of Accountability in Governance and Politics Program (AGAP) 2009-2014 was made under the presidency of the Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An, Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers and Carol A. Rodley, Ambassador of the American Embassy to Cambodia on April 20 in Phnom Penh.

The AGAP program will be implemented by a consortium composed of the International Republic Institution (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems working in Cambodia, according to Cambodian government and U.S. Embassy officials.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An said that the new Accountability in Governance and Politics (AGAP) program will help Cambodian government hold its government accountable for policy performance and implementation.

The AGAP program launched is made accordance with the Royal government’s policies in promoting and encouraging the participation from all involved people and concerned authorities and institutions in building of the government’s policies, planning preparation, and decision-makers through other consultations in order to ensure the development and the progress with equity in Cambodia, he said.

H.E. Sok An said that according to the Cambodian Constitution, the Royal Government is under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen has always carried out the strengthening and expanding of pluralism democracy policy and the promotion of all kinds of freedom of the people in Cambodia. He stated that the survival rights, the liberty of people and the individual rights of people have been ensured by law in Cambodia,” he said during opening remarks at the official launching ceremony of Accountability in Governance and Politics Program from 2009-214.

“I consider that this implementation of the AGAP program has really responded to the current and future political position of the Royal Government of Cambodia, and I hope that this program will be implemented with transparency, equity and honesty by the three organizations: IRI, NDI and IFES in accordance with the objective limited contributing to the government’s works in strengthening of democracy doctrine, and the building and implementing of the other government’s policies towards the encouragement and promotion of economic and social development in Cambodia,” he said.

H.E. Sok An continued to say that to strengthen and promoting the doctrine of pluralism democracy as well as rule of law in Cambodia, the Royal Government is now working hard in strengthening the rule implementation with focusing on three main principles including establishment and additional supplement of laws framework; advocate the people to be aware about laws and other legal procedures in Cambodia; and to have right and sufficient implementation of laws in order to provide justice and equity for all level of people in Cambodia.

He added that the Royal Government has also implemented the promotion of good governance through the reform of all its government institutions’ administration in order they can provide the public service for people with transparency, accountability, responsiveness, effectiveness, efficiency and predictability in Cambodia.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to all people and concerned NGOs to continue their hard works and help the Royal Government in the cause of the strengthening and promotion of democracy and rule of law in Cambodia,” he added.

American Ambassador Carol A. Rodley said that Cambodia’s democracy is young, but it has made substantial progress since the first national election in 1993. She said that the AGAP program is designed to promote increased accountability and transparency in policy making and implementation, and it will encourage all Cambodians

“The United States is pleased to have played even a small part in this progress since 2001, when we launched our first good governance program in Cambodia. By working side by side with Cambodians inside and outside of the government, we have contributed to some notable successes,” she said.

She pointed out that the AGAP program will build on the progress of the previous US political competition program. U.S supports for town hall-style constitution dialogues, which will continue under the new program, and have allowed citizens throughout the country to discuss issues affecting everyday lives directly with their elected leaders.

She added that U.S assistance for programs targeting people less than 30 years old, who makeup 70 percent of the population, has helped widen participation in the political process. The Youth Council of Cambodia and the Youth Leadership of Challenges television show, which will also continue under the new program, have exposed millions of youth to democratic principles in an engaging and entertainment way. ///

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