Statement on the dispute between Cambodia and Thailand

Meeting of the Socialist International Asia-Pacific Committee Manila, 20-21 May 2011

The Socialist International Asia-Pacific Committee expresses its concern at the situation that has arisen on the border between Cambodia and Thailand, particularly the recent clashes including large-scale artillery operations, the use of cluster ammunition and ground assaults that may affect regional peace and stability.

The Socialist International Asia-Pacific Committee calls for the parties involved to establish a permanent cease-fire and resolve the situation peacefully through effective political dialogue. In this respect, it particularly calls on all political actors and civil society organisations from both Thailand and Cambodia to actively pursue initiatives to secure dialogue and confidence-building measures to secure a peaceful outcome to the current dispute.

The Committee urges both parties to respect all International Treaties and Covenants under International Law and the United Nations Charter.

The Socialist International Asia-Pacific Committee supports the statement of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, urging both countries to take “immediate measures for an effective and verifiable ceasefire”. Therefore, the introduction of the ASEAN-designated Indonesian Military Observers to the conflicted areas under the mandate of the UNSC is needed.

Taking this opportunity, we ask for UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee (WHC) to organise a group of experts to assess the damage to the Preah Vihear World Heritage Site in order to preserve the property of human kind. Bearing in mind that UNESCO Conventions are aimed at promoting understanding among nations in the field of cultural heritage, we call on UNESCO to further improve the relevant Conventions to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings related with cultural heritage, especially those which are cross-border.