U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2-day visit to Cambodia on October 30th to November 1st, 2010, emphasized the United States' commitment to sustained and comprehensive engagement in South East Asia, as well as its desire to assist the Cambodian people in their efforts to recover from decades of conflicts, to achieve political and legal reforms, and to strengthen economic development.
This year, the United States provided Cambodia with more than $70 million in foreign assistance, which went to address issues such as human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, corruption, maternal and child health, and humanitarian mine action. The United States' maturing security cooperation with Cambodia represents a joint commitment to ensure international peace and security, and to continue transforming the Cambodian Armed Forces into a transparent, accountable, and professional military.
While in Cambodia, Secretary Clinton participated in a town hall meeting with Cambodian youth in a free-flowing discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing Cambodia, and how the United States can help. The Lower Mekong Initiative is an example of how the United States is engaging with Cambodia to promote a multilateral response to transnational challenges such as climate change and infectious disease.
The United States' commitment to a democratic, secure, and prosperous Cambodia is reflected in the nearly $7 million the U.S. has contributed to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal since 2008, which seeks to bring to justice the Khmer Rouge senior leaders most responsible for the atrocities of the late 1970s, while also serving as a model for Cambodian rule of law, judicial independence, and national reconciliation.
In a press conference with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong how-nahM-HONG], Secretary Clinton remarked, "I am very optimistic about Cambodia's future. The last years have been transformative for this country. And I hope that the United States can be a good partner and a friend, as the Government and people of Cambodia make the necessary steps to improve your democratic institutions, to improve the economy, to provide the kind of opportunities that the young people I met with earlier today deserve to have." Secretary Clinton concluded, "This visit has left me encouraged that our partnership can deepen and grow to serve both our peoples in the years to come."