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Progress and Challenges since 1991

Pou Sothirak, Geoff Wade and Mark Hong

Publication Year: 2012

In the 20 years since the Paris accords of 1991 brought peace to Cambodia, the country has undergone what can only be described as astounding change. From a polity where the entire fabric of society had been rent asunder through years of war and genocide, contemporary Cambodia is fast becoming a vibrant state and assuming a new position in the Asia-Pacific region. The contributions to this volume – many by prominent figures who were intimately connected with the process – describe the diverse strands of mediation and peace-building which went into the creation of the 1991 accords. The subsequent role of UNTAC and the 1993 general elections in the process of Cambodian revival and social rebuilding are also described. While not denying that obstacles and difficulties remain, the contributions outline the evolving economic, political, religious and human resource situations within Cambodia, while also examining the country’s contemporary international relations. This book constitutes a particularly fitting testament to the 20 years of Cambodian reconstruction which have followed the 1991 peace accords.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-viii

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pp. ix-x

When I was requested to draft a foreword for this book, I inquired into the origins of the book proposal, and was immediately struck by its timeliness, as 2011 is the 20th anniversary of the 1991 Paris Peace Conference which brought about a diplomatic resolution of the protracted Cambodia conflict. ...

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pp. xi-xii

This timely book commemorates the Twentieth Anniversary of the October 1991 Paris Peace Agreement on Cambodia. The Paris Conference on Cambodia itself was the high-water achievement and culmination of a long and determined campaign by the ASEAN countries to bring about a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Cambodian conflict. ...

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pp. xiii-xxiv

HRH Prince Norodom Sirivudh was born in 1951. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Economics at Paris IX of Dauphine University in 1976. He began his political career in 1971 when he joined the Paris-based royalist movement, GRUNC/FUNK. ...

Timeline of Recent Cambodian History

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pp. xxv-xxviii

Cambodia and Singapore

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1. Forging Closer Bilateral Relations between Cambodia and Singapore

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pp. 3-10

Historically, Singapore has been a time-tested friend of Cambodia. Diplomatic relations between our two countries were established on 10 August 1965 — a day after Singapore became independent, thus making the Kingdom of Cambodia one of the very first countries to recognize the independent Republic of Singapore. ...

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2. My Cambodian Story

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pp. 11-17

My Cambodian story begins in 1965, when Singapore suddenly found itself separated from the Federation of Malaysia and became a new sovereign and independent country. The Kingdom of Cambodia, headed by Prince Norodom Sihanouk, was one of the first countries to recognise Singapore’s independence. ...

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3. Cambodia-Singapore Synergy: A Paradigm for Cooperation and Connectivity

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pp. 18-40

When I reflected upon my links with Cambodia and my credentials for writing this essay, I realised that I had spent one third of my working career in the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1969 to 2002) concentrating on Cambodian issues. Firstly, I was sent on my initial field posting to Phnom Penh (1974–75). ...

Cambodia and Southeast Asia

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4. ASEAN and the Cambodia Campaign

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pp. 43-47

In the 44-year history of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the “Cambodia campaign” (December 1978 to October 1991) has been one of the most significant challenges to face the organization. ASEAN was only a little over 12 years old when the campaign began. ...

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5. Cambodia-Indonesia Relations

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pp. 48-61

Diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Cambodia have been established in their contemporary form for only a few decades, but the ties between the peoples of Indonesia and Cambodia date back centuries. ...

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6. Cambodia and Vietnam: Good Fences Make Good Neighbours

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pp. 62-78

This chapter provides an overview of Cambodia’s relations with Vietnam in the period following the 1991 political settlement of the Cambodian conflict. Particular attention is paid to the period since 2005, the year both sides adopted the guideline of “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive and long-term cooperation” for their bilateral relations. ...

Cambodia and Others

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7. Cambodia's Relations with China: A Steadfast Friendship

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pp. 81-95

On 14 November 1991, a Chinese VIP Boeing 707 left Beijing airport carrying the former Cambodian King and Head of State, Norodom Sihanouk, back to his homeland after more than twelve years of exile in China. Also making a return to Cambodia was China’s newly-appointed Permanent Representative ...

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8. Cambodia-United States Relations

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pp. 96-107

The United States first opened diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1950 when Cambodia became an associated state within the French Union. US-Cambodia relations have experienced abrupt changes and reversals since 1950. ...

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9. Japan's Roles in Cambodia: Peace-Making, Peace-Building and National Reconciliation

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pp. 108-118

Peace-building efforts in Cambodia were Japan’s first foray in this area, and also served as a model for Japanese efforts to address other domestic conflicts in various parts of Asia. It was in Cambodia that Japan gained valuable experience, national self-confidence and institutional knowledge in the whole range of inter-related areas of peace-building: ...

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10. Cambodia-Japan Relations

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pp. 119-133

On 17 May 2010, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan remarked at a state banquet in honour of His Majesty the King of Cambodia that the relationship between the Kingdom of Cambodia and Japan had begun in 1569 when a Cambodian merchant ship arrived on the shores of Kyushu looking to establish contact with Japan. ...

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11. Cambodia's Relations with France since the Paris Agreements of 1991

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pp. 134-150

Cambodia and France have had a close relationship since France intervened in 1863 and colonized the country, whilst helping Cambodia to fend off the territorial ambitions of Thailand on the East and Vietnam on the West. For France, Cambodia, together with Laos, constituted an “island of French culture in the Far East”.1 ...

Peace and Reconciliation in Cambodia

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12. An Assessment of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC)

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pp. 153-165

There are divergent appraisals on the outcome of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operation in Cambodia, which took place for 18 months from March 1992 to September 1993. In my view, such divergence of views is inevitable; it arises from degrees of prior expectations, varied estimates regarding the capacity of the United Nations ...

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13. The 1991 Paris Peace Agreement: A KPNLF Perspective

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pp. 166-172

I cannot speak on behalf of the other Khmer component parties to the Paris Peace Agreements, whose objectives and interests might be different from the democratic ideals and hope for change which the Cambodian people pursued through UN intervention, just after the Kuwait war and the UN exercises in Yugoslavia. ...

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14. The Role and Performance of UNTAC: An Australian Perspective

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pp. 173-187

The UN intervention in Cambodia was an important, if flawed success. Many people these days, with the benefit of hindsight, tend to see the mistakes made by UNTAC (the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia) during the operation, and the subsequent somewhat slow pace of consolidation of democracy in Cambodia, ...

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15. Justice and Reconciliation in Cambodia

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pp. 188-204

Countless challenges have arisen in the efforts to create a court with jurisdiction to try “senior Khmer Rouge leaders and those who were most responsible” for the crimes committed during their regime within Cambodia. These efforts were met with scepticism by those who considered judicial intervention either impossible or meaningless in a country such as Cambodia. ...

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16. How has Cambodia Achieved Political Reconciliation?

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pp. 205-228

After achieving independence from France in 1953, Cambodian history has been characterized by deep conflicts, social fragmentation and political turmoil. The arrival of the Khmer Rouge regime began a genocidal period, from 1975–1979, in which the vast majority of Cambodian people faced unspeakable sufferings, ...

Cambodia Today

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17. The Contemporary Political Landscape in Cambodia

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pp. 231-245

The ill-fated modern history of Cambodia shows a country ravaged by a long series of national calamities, among them the attempt by France to reestablish colonial rule after World War II, the Vietnam War which spilled over into Cambodia, the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, ...

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18. The Cambodian Economy: Charting the Course of a Brighter Future

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pp. 246-280

Since 1993, the Cambodian economy has undergone a dramatic and rapid transformation. The traditional economy, based on agriculture, is now driven increasingly by the industrial and the tertiary sectors. With the return of peace in the early 1990s, a sense of confidence and pride pervades the country. ...

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19. Changing the Course of Cambodia through the Business of Empowering People

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pp. 281-291

Human resource development is globally considered a key business process to enhance performance. Women’s empowerment is not always a crosscutting element of human resource development and this is a missed opportunity for government and business. ...

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20. Progress and Challenges of Education in Cambodia Today

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pp. 292-319

If Cambodia is to achieve the lofty goals quoted in the statements above, it is imperative that the country establishes a high-quality and sustainable education system with equal access to learning for all citizens. Choosing and implementing the proper strategy of the developmental path to produce graduates1 with the virtue, ...

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21. Buddhism in Cambodia since 1993

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pp. 320-336

Buddhism has had a long history in the country we now call Cambodia. Inscriptional and archaeological evidence suggest that it was already well established by the fifth century of the Common Era (CE) when the lower Mekong appears to have become a significant entrepôt in the passage of Buddhist ideas and material culture from India to the Middle Kingdom. ...

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22. Managing Poverty in Cambodia

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pp. 337-366

In the past decade, Cambodia has undergone a remarkable political transformation and has been able to generate robust economic growth. However, the country still faces persistent poverty issues. Poverty in Cambodia has largely resulted from insecurity, inadequate opportunities, low capabilities, vulnerability, and social exclusion, ...

Cambodia's Future

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23. The Mekong: Uncertain Future of a Great River

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pp. 369-383

When, at a meeting held in Phnom Penh in April 2011 the Lao government bowed to pressure from Vietnam and Cambodia and agreed to suspend until 2011 its decision to construct a dam at Xayaburi, a location on the Mekong River between Luang Prabang and Vientiane, the issue of the river’s future was brought into sharp relief. ...

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24. Reflections on the Future of Cambodia: From My Vantage Point

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pp. 384-402

Historically, Khmers have fought fiercely to gain control of their territory, and then defended it, but not always successfully, against the invading neighbours. At its peak in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, the Khmer empire extended from the Annamite Cordillera in southern Vietnam to the Gulf of Thailand. ...


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pp. 403-423

E-ISBN-13: 9789814379830
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814379823

Page Count: 423
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Cambodia -- Politics and government -- 1979-.
  • Cambodia -- Economic conditions.
  • Cambodia -- Social conditions.
  • Cambodia -- Foreign relations.
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