June 21, 1997


Dear Mr. Secretary-General,


On behalf of the Cambodian Government and people, we write to you to ask for the assistance of the United Nations and the international community in bringing to justice those persons responsible for the genocide and crimes against humanity during the rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979.


The April 1997 resolution on Cambodia of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights requests: "the Secretary‑General, through his Special Representative, in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, to examine any request by Cambodia for assistance in responding to past serious violations of Cambodian and international law as a means of bringing about national reconciliation, strengthening democracy and addressing the issue of individual accountability."


Cambodia does not have the resources or expertise to conduct this very important procedure. Thus, we believe it is necessary to ask for the assistance of the United Nations. We are aware of similar efforts to respond to the genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, and ask that similar assistance be given to Cambodia.


We believe that crimes of this magnitude are of concern to all persons in the world, as they greatly diminish respect for the most basic human right, the right to life. We hope that the United Nations and international community can assist the Cambodian people in establishing the truth about this period and bring those responsible to justice. Only in this way can this tragedy be brought to a full and final conclusion.


Please, Mr. Secretary-General, accept the assurances of our highest consideration.



(signed): Prince Norodom Ranariddh


First Prime Minister



(signed): Hun Sen


Second Prime Minister