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Khmer Rouge Tribunal Resource Center Officially Open

PHNOM PENH: This week saw the grand opening of a resource center dedicated to Cambodia’s modern history of civil war, genocide, and the international effort to restore justice to the Kingdom.

On the morning of September 27, a ceremony was held to inaugurate a resource center for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), informally known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal . The center includes libraries, research facilities, archives, workshop rooms, a moot court and exhibition spaces, along with a remembrance park.

Attending the opening were the ambassadors of France and Japan, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Cambodia and the ECCC International Coordinator. Deputy Prime Minister Vongsey Vissoth presided over the ceremony as chairman of the government committee that oversees the functions of the ECCC.

The DPM gave an inaugural speech in which he detailed the value gained from the Khmer Rouge Tribunal processes in which Cambodia was able to share with and learn from the knowledge and experience of other countries, transforming Cambodia from a country that used to learn from others, to one where foreigners come to learn.

He lauded the achievements of the ECCC and thanked the UN and the international community on behalf of himself and the Royal Government for their support in a smooth, timely and successful trial process.

"This is a joint achievement of the Royal Government, the United Nations, and the international community that has made this hybrid tribunal a model court for countries in the region and the world to study and implement. It is a model for establishing courts to try future serious crimes in the cause of post-war peace or long-running internal conflicts," he said.

He emphasized that the ECCC had left a strong legacy in Cambodian society by contributing to peace, national reconciliation, the search for truth, the rule of law, justice for the victims and ending the culture of impunity for serious crimes. He said that the resource center will maintain the memory to prevent the return of the atrocity that took the lives of millions of Cambodians.

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