An Open Society is a multi-party society governed by rule of law, founded on the respect, the promotion and the protection of human rights. It is not a society ruled by the power of an individual or a privilegded group. In an Open Societyb citizens have the right to organize and to belong to association(s), movement(s), committee(s) of their own choice. Furtheremore, freedom of speech and assembly are fully guaranteed in the constitution of an Open Society. Citizens of an open society are able and expected to be involved actively in politics, social and economic matters of the state. An open society thrives with its citizens’ activism. Leaders of an Open Society are chosen through a free and fair democratic process.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party will take part in an open process that will lead to the adoption of a law on non-governmental organizations and associations. The adopted law can be used as an efficient tool to further enhance the roles, functions and contributions of Cambodia’s civil society. The law should minimize registration procedures and reporting requirements must not violate the independence and functioning of these significant development partners.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party considers the neutrality and independence of national institutions, especially of the police and armed forces as essential in the safeguard of public order and safety. Respect for culture and traditions are maintained through freedoms and liberties protected by the state of an Open Society that gives reasons for the citizens to feel engaged and not from state regulations and sanctions. The law should give the judiciary no role in mediation of matters related to the functioning of non- governmental organizations or associations. The law should be clear on criteria for the state to deny or reject a registration. Should there be case for sanction, there must be clear mechanism for appeal and due process.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party reiterates its recognition of the valuable contributions provided by local and international NGOs and the vibrant grassroots groups that have helped complete the unmet development challenges in Cambodia for more than two decades.
Let us build an Open Society and use the full potentials of each of our citizens.