Press Release: The Cambodian Government Signed MoU with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

“Improving Outreach, Public Relation and Information Dissemination Strategies at Sub-National Level”

Phnom Penh, 03 December 2010: The Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Information and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung of Germany today signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to pave the way for the cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia, and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) to train government officials at local level about public relations and communication aims to improve access to information for the public.

The MoU was signed at the Ministry of Interior by H.E Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Interior, H.E Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, and Ms. Rabea Brauer, KAS country representative to Cambodia.

Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information, said that the signing of MoU reflects the commitment made by the Cambodian Government to promote access to information which is one of the main pillars for democracy.

“ The Scope of MoU is to improve public relations and information strategies of councils, Board of Governors and sub-national administration,” the minister added.

He said that based on the MoU, the government in cooperation with KAS will conduct training courses in order to have three (03) responsible press officers, including a deputy governor, a municipal/provincial official and an official of the Department of Provincial Information, selected by the council. The press officer has his/her competence to inform the public and communicates with the media, about the responsibilities and decisions of the council, Board of Governors, municipal and provincial administration.

Khieu Kanharith further stated that, through the training courses, we strongly hope the trainees will be able to effectively communicate with the public and the media resulting into free flow of information.

Ms. Rabea Brauer, KAS country representative stated that, based on the MoU, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Information, and KAS in cooperation with its partners such as Club of Cambodian Journalists and Department of Media and Communication shall undertake training programs on public relations, press relations and outreach. The program serving with a kick off meeting of all participant in January covers a period of two years starting with a today.

“It is our hope that access to information will be greatly improved after the training programs which are specially designed for local officials through the countries. These officials who attend the program will become a bridge to connect the local administration with the public and the media to enhance transparency, accountability, and democracy of the country,” she said.

Mr. Pen Samitthy, the President of the Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) welcomes the signing of the MoU, saying that the upcoming Public Relations Officers or spokesmen will help journalists tremendously in their daily work to gather information and write news in the interest of the public. The Club of Cambodian Journalists sees the signing of MoU as positive progress for press freedom in Cambodia. Thus, CCJ is ready to be engaged in the process of the training programs.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung which is named after its first chancellor is a political foundation of Germany. It has 16 regional offices and two conference centers which offer a wide variety of civic education conferences and events. The offices abroad are in charge of more than 200 projects in more than 120 countries. It opened its office in Cambodia in 1994. During its over 16-year existence in Cambodia, KAS has been actively involved in strengthening democracy, rule of law and human rights in Cambodia.
For more information, please contact Mrs. Oum Syvan or Mrs. Rabea Brauer via telephone 023 996 861 , 023 726 221 or email: office.phnompenh@kas.de