Today I am pleased to announce that Australia will contribute $3.25 million in 2014 to the important work of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

The ECCC are seeking to provide justice and accountability for the crimes committed against the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge during the dark period of Cambodia’s history when at least 1.6 million Cambodians died.  The age and growing infirmity of defendants and witnesses highlight the urgency of the ECCC’s work.

This year represents a landmark for the ECCC as it will shortly deliver a judgment in the first phase of Case 002, which involves the two most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leaders.

I welcome the Cambodian Government’s ongoing commitment to, and provision of support for, the ECCC.  The ECCC would not have been possible if not for the Cambodian Government’s leadership and its call for international assistance to establish a tribunal to try former Khmer Rouge leaders.

Australia has been a long-standing supporter of the ECCC and is among the largest contributors. This latest contribution takes our total funding to $26.2 million since 2003.

Our ongoing assistance to the ECCC is a critical element of Australia’s strong support for international criminal justice and human rights.  The trials will help to ensure that those most responsible for serious international crimes are held to account.

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