Cambodian Community Press Release

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The cultural diversity in the Bay Area makes it one of the best places to live in the world. Cambodian-Americans are certainly significant pieces of that cultural tapestry. The preservation of the Cambodian culture is, therefore, vital. It is paramount not only to the collective community, but also to the Cambodian community, and the individual Cambodians themselves.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Dear Community Leader:

In collaboration with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, the Human
Rights Center, The Institute for International Studies, and International and Area Studies, the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program will be hosting a symposium at Berkeley on November 19, 2011 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords.

The symposium will look at present day Cambodia, 20 years after this historic agreement. It brings together key “history makers”, academics and researchers, policy analysts, and rights advocates to discuss critical issues facing present day Cambodia in four critical areas, namely law and democracy, economic development and human security, human rights, and the role of diasporas in peace and democracy building and national reconstruction.

We hope that you can join us in this important convening.

Professor Khatharya Um
Conference Chair
University of California, Berkeley


On October 23, 1991, a comprehensive political settlement, also known as the Paris Peace Agreement, was signed and endorsed by eighteen countries. It brought an end to the decade-long war in Cambodia, and paved the way for the 1993 UN endorsed elections in Cambodia.

The last two decades since the end of war have witnessed the nation's valiant post-genocide and post-war struggle to rebuild communities and institutions, economic liberalization and growth, a burgeoning civil society, and proliferation of rights discourse. They have also seen the resurgence of conflict, widening class disparity, and persisting challenge with key reforms, accountability and governance.

This convening marks the 20th anniversary of the Paris Agreement. It brings together key "history makers," academics and researchers, policy analysts, and rights advocates to discuss present day Cambodia, twenty years after the peace settlement. Topics include law and democracy, economic development and human security, human rights and transitional justice, and the role of diasporas in peace building and national reconstruction.


Ambassador Richard Solomon
Ambassador Solomon is President of the United States Institute of Peace. He was Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (1989-1992) during which time he negotiated the Cambodia peace treaty, the first United Nations "Permanent Five" peacemaking agreement. He previously served as a senior staff member of the National Security Council.

Dr. Surya Subedi
Professor Subedi is United Nations Special Rapporteur For Human Rights in Cambodia and a Member of the Advisory Group on Human Rights to the British Secretary of State For Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is Professor of Law at the University of Leeds.

Mr. Brad Adams
Mr. Adams is Executive Director of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division. He worked in Cambodia for five years as the senior lawyer for the Cambodia field office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and legal advisor to the Cambodian parliament.

Ms. Heather Ryan
Ms. Ryan was the Monitor for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal with the Open Society Justice Initiative.

Mr. Joel Brinkley
Mr. Brinkley is Professor of Journalism at Stanford University and author of Cambodia's Curse. He was a New York Times reporter, editor and Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent.

Ms. Devi Leiper O'Malley
Ms. Leiper O'Malley is Program Associate for Asia and Oceania for the Global Fund for Women and Founding Executive Council Member of the Devata Giving Circle.

Mr. Van Sar
Mr. Van Sar is a founding member of the Khmer Alliance Foundation

Mr. Tung Yap
Mr. Yap was President of Cambodian Americans for Human Rights and Democracy

Mr. Hann So
Mr. So is Founder of Khmer Conscience, and Co-founder of the Khmer Institute of Democracy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

WHEN: November 19, 2011 -8:30a-5: 30p

WHERE: The Home Room, International House, 2299 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley, CA

Co-Sponsored by: The University of California, Berkeley Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, Center For Southeast Asian Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies/International and Area Studies, Institute For International Studies, The Human Rights Center, The International House.

For more information, please contact Professor Khatharya Um at This event is free to the public.