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City Hall to hold forum with NGOs tomorrow

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng will lead the meeting. Supplied

City Hall will hold a consultative forum with non-governmental organisations tomorrow to discuss challenges in resolving issues and also promote cooperation between the government and civil society groups.

The forum, to be held on Koh Pich, will be presided over by Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng.

“The consultative forum will find resolutions to challenging issues and promote cooperation between civil society groups and the government to develop the country,” Mr Sreng said in a statement recently.

Soeng Sen Karuna, a senior official of rights group Adhoc, said that he welcomes the consultative forum as an opportunity for civil society group to raise issues concerning the public.

“It is good thing and we always meet to discuss issues with the authorities,” he said. “We will raise issues such as human rights violation and the Law on NGOs which restricts freedom of assembly.”

“The government has opened space for civil society groups to do their work but implementation is still a problem because local authorities are not fully cooperating with NGOs and disrupt our work by monitoring us when we hold meetings with villagers,” Mr Sen Karuna added.

Soeung Saroeun, executive director of Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, said that in general it is good to have such consultative forums as advocated by the Interior Ministry.

“I am not sure how many organisations will be invited to this forum but I hope some key challenges will be addressed,” he said.

Last year, the Interior Ministry held a forum between government officials and NGOs to raise and iron out problems.

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