Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 25th February 2005.

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Photo of Michael Moore Michael Moore Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of corruption in Cambodia; what assistance is being given to Cambodia to eliminate corruption; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Trade) (also Department of Trade and Industry), Minister of State (Department of Trade and Industry) (Trade) (also Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Cambodia faces a challenging governance agenda of which combating corruption is of central importance, as the president of the World Bank made clear recently.

Strengthening governance remains a key part of UK bilateral assistance for Cambodia. The UK is helping the Government undertake critical reforms that will help tackle corruption. For example, we are helping the Government undertake reforms of management of public funds and we have supported work to tackle illegal logging.

At the annual consultative group meeting between Government and donors in Cambodia in December last year, the Government committed to specific actions to tackle reported corruption, enact anti-corruption legislation and increase Government openness and transparency.

However, these promises need to be backed by faster progress towards reform. I raised this issue with the Cambodian Minister of Justice, Mr. Ang Vong Vathana, on 27 January 2005. Our ambassador in Phnom Penh also raised it with the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on 1 February 2005.

We welcome the Cambodian Government's intention to adopt soon an anti-corruption law. We hope that the political will needed to implement the legislation will be forthcoming.

We will continue to encourage the Government of Cambodia to take concrete action against corruption and are providing practical support to help them do so.

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