58th meeting of SEARCA Governing Board host in Cambodia


[News] Published on Southeast Asia Weekly (SEAW), Vol.4, Issue 43

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (21 October 2010)

 

By Sok Lak

The Royal Government of Cambodia took a role of host country to launch 58thmeeting of SEARCA (Southeast Asia Regional Center of graduated study and research in Agriculture) Governing Board in Phnom Penh on October, 18 to 20th to promote agriculture in Southeast Asia.

The meeting persisted over by H.E Chan Sarun, Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and delegation from various countries in Southeast Asia. Some experts also join this meeting and they are Dr. C.Saguiguit, director of SEARCA, Dr. Luis Rey Velasco, Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Banos and chairman of the SEARCA, and Dr. Tinsiri Siribodhi, Deputy of the SEAMEO Secretariat based in Bangkok, Thailand.

This is only the second time that the kingdom of Cambodia is hosting such an important event since Cambodia became a member of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in 1968 and the first SEARCA Meeting held here was in 2000.

Agriculture in Cambodia book under the title of “The Southeast Asian Agriculture and Development Primer Cambodia” was showed at the 58th meeting of SEARCA, which is the last vision publication of SEARCA to promote as prime series for all SEAMEO members. The purpose of publish this book is providing clear and compete information about agriculture in Southeast Asia as reference. This book discusses the general features of each country’s agriculture in partly of institution, structure and policy that affect developing agriculture sector’s performance in the past three decades. The Cambodia primer is authored by Dr. Touch Visalsok, Rector of the University of Battambang, and Dr. Ker Monthivuth, Acting Director, Department of Administration, Planning, Accounting, and International Cooperation, General Directorate of Agriculture.

H.E Chan Saron, Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries took a note key that this meeting is very important in training agriculture and research in Southeast Asia example Cambodia.

“I strongly support this meeting and hope that this meeting will bring a best result for Cambodia also for all countries in Southeast Asia. In this time,” “I also hope that the institution will continue to cooperate with Cambodia and improve own activities in the way of developing human resource in Cambodia agriculture sector”, he remarked.

The goal of SEARCA is to cut down the number of poverty people and improve food security. By this way, SEARCA promote developing agriculture and rural area in Southeast Asia through providing scholarship for graduated study, research, data system and knowledge management.

“Cambodia has become the member SEARCA since 1973 and 46 Cambodian got scholarship from this institution”, H.E Chan Saron noted.

It is noted that SEARCA is the institution work with all 11 Southeast Asian countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. Each of these countries has a representative to the SEARCA governing board, which serves as the Center’s policymaking body. SEARCA Governing Board’s annually meeting is an essential forum of SEARCA to evaluate and make necessary changes to the programs and budgets of institution.

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Graduated Student to Send for Study in France


[News] Published on Southeast Asia Weekly (SEAW), Vol.4, Issue 42

 

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (14 October 2010)

By Sok Lak

The scholarship awarding ceremony was held at Le Café of the French Cultural Centre on October 13th to celebrate the selection of 27 students from the University of Health Sciences to complete a training course in one of French public hospital.

In 2009, France initiated a global competition (excluding European countries) whose program corresponds to the national examination for French medical students. There are thirty-six Cambodian students from University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh participating in the competition and twenty-seven students were selected. After a preparation and try hard in study for two months, they are able to train in France for one or two years according to the major they chose in the coming month.

Cooperation between France and Cambodia in the health sector has begun for many years.  Many of doctors also experienced through this kind of training before. One of its most visible aspects is the training of Cambodian doctors in French public hospital.

Mr. Youk Sophanna, vice rector of University of Health Sciences, said that the University of Health Science has cooperated with France International Cooperation long time ago. They do not only help Cambodia in technical skills of medical science, but also facilitate in form of finance as well. Each year, 40 to 50 Cambodian students went to study at France through France International Cooperation, France students also came to train in Cambodia in summer seasons to learn medical science especially learn disease about summer. The students go to study at France spend around two to three years according to their majors to complete the training course. The subjects that students go to train as intern at France included General Medical, Pharmacy and other subjects related to child and women morbidity.

Since 2000, there were around 400 Cambodian students went to study in France. Mostly, they studied at Loyon, Bourges, Limoges and Paris, he noted.

After finish this training course, most of students will be able to work at hospital. Former students who used to train there have capacity to work at public hospitals, such as Kantha Bopha Hospital and Calmette Hospital, Prof. Khuon Pichith emphasized.

Several hundred doctors have already benefited from this training, now hold positions of responsibility in Cambodia hospitals and other institutions in the country.

 

Mr. Touch Socheat, a student from University of Health Science, also got scholarship to France said that “There are many steps before I can go to train in France. Firstly, I studied medical doctor for six years and also study specialized skills for three years. After that, I need to pass an exam, which was arranged by France International Cooperation.

Sok borin, 27, who is also an intern, go to train France also said that he will go to train at Paris on October 23rd. He hopes that he will be able learn a lot of experience and new knowledge from the place he trains. In the future, he believes that he can help to develop country through his skill.

 

This health sciences cooperation, in addition to its training component, is an important contribution to the Francophone world to relationships with Cambodia.

SEAW#3: Asian Farmers Tackle Climate Change Issues


[News] Published on Southeast Asia Weekly (SEAW), Vol. 4, Issue 42

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (13 October 2010)

By Sok Lak

The Council for the Rural Agricultural Rehabilitation, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in cooperate with Caritas Cambodia Organization, Caritas Asia Organization and Catholic Relief Services Organization launched a Southeast Asia Farmer’s Conference in Phnom Penh on October 12th to improve the quality of life of million of farmer in Asia especially mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Under the theme Southeast Asia Farmer’s Conference: “Together to mitigate climate change problems which affect farmer agriculture activities at Southeast Asia Area”, it brought up three main purposes: to improve farmer knowledge and increase the voices of farmers to prevent their right in context of climate change; sharing good experiences and raise the problems in the context of climate change to spread policy (NAPA protocol and National Development Strategy Planning 2009-2013) in order to cut down and adapt climate change to promote food security and sustainable agriculture; and providing a discussion for representative farmers, civil society and government to understand deeply of the effects of climate change on agriculture, receive recommendation and raise the anxieties under the topic of climate change and sustainable agriculture.

Mr. Kim Rattana, Executive Director of Caritas Cambodia Organization said that this conference is very important especially for farmer communities at international and national level to meet each others to discuss all the anxieties and share all experiences around the topic of climate change to find out the solution and response to effect and impact of climate change around the world.

Climate change causing server damages to farmer’s life, living, economic loses which their crops are damaged in the field, cultivation system as the rainfall pattern are changing every year. All farmers are paying the price of climate change but they did not cause it. If the chemical-based agriculture cause green house gasses emission, it noted that it is not a single grassroots level farmers produced chemical fertilizers and pesticide in life-time. Therefore, it should have lion’s share of the mitigation and adaptation funds to allocate due to climate change, Mr. Gabrie Baroi, program officer of Caritas Asia in Bangkok emphasized.

He continued that after the discussion in this conference, all farmers will go back to their community and share the concern with fellow farmers and build advocacy constituency. On the other hand, the panelist, government representatives and representatives from other international level institutions will bring the farmers’ voice to the concerned authorities so that mechanism supportive to farmers’ life and livelihood, funds and mechanism allocated and supported to mitigation, adaptation as well as research and development come to the use for farmers life and livelihood.

H.E Tav Senghour, Secretary of. State of Ministry of Interior and 1st Vice Chairman of Council for Agriculture and Rural Development also said that it is very worrying about climate change around the world nowadays. These situations caused by natural phenomenon and human activities in modern technology life. In fact,  the developing of science make human life better and better, but it also impact global environment that cause negative phenomenon such as temperature increased, sea level increased and the number of disasters increased times to times, which affected human life and economy development especially agriculture sector.

“We all have to think together about climate change impact on agriculture and other related activities in this field that cause climate change to have a sustainable agriculture. In this case, government of Cambodia also involve and deal with these problems by giving this important task to Ministry and authority related to this kind of cases such as Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, Council for Agriculture and Rural Development, National Committee for Disaster, to prepare and set up policy, strategy and measures to prevent and mitigate natural disaster especially protect people life and balance economy activities day-life,” he said.

This conference participated  by representative of Ministry, Municipal and preventative farmer come form 24 city-province in Cambodia specially  representative of Caritas Cambodia Organization, Caritas Asia Organization and Catholic Relief Services Organization with farmers of 13 countries in Asia.

 

[News] Destination of Green is the theme of “The Great Khmer Empire” Movie


[News] Published in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (6 October 2010)

By Sok Lak
Mr. Thomas Magyer, Hollywood Corporation Film’s executive producer and Mr. Tony Schiena, film actor of the Hollywood Corporation Company visited Minister of Ministry of Tourism on October 5th at Ministry of Tourism to discuss about “The Great Khmer Empire” movie and ask for support.

“After I rise time to Cambodia and I have seems Siem Reap, I realize that Cambodia is a very beautiful place to shoot the story, so the first episode of our TV show is shoot in Cambodia, in Siem Reap, in Preah Vihear and some other locations in Cambodia”,  Mr Tony Schiena told H.E Thong Khon, minister of Tourism.

He continued TV show series of The Great Khmer Empire has twelve episodes and first episode is taken in Cambodia and other eleven take in South Asia and other places. The destination of green is the theme in the episode. I want to show people over the world look Cambodia through green perspective. This TV show also shows Cambodia a good life.

“I would like to shoot film on January 21st, because I think it is a good time to shoot destination of green,” he noted.

H.E Thong Khon also agree with him and told him that January is a good time for shooting the destination of green, but it is a bit little rain in that month and nowadays environment is changed everytime due to climate change.

The Hollywood corporation company need ministry of tourism to cooperate and support the film of Great Khmer Empire especially the information of beautiful places. “We fully support and walk together with you”, he emphasized.

SEAW#2: Collective Bargaining For Improved Industrial Relation


Published on SEAW, Vol. 4, Issue no.40 (2 October 2010)

By Sok Lak

Under demand for good governance project and supporting of World Bank, Arbitration Council Foundation (ACF) has held 5th Nation Industrial Ration Conference in Phnom Penh on October 01st, aiming at improving industrial relation in Cambodia especially triple parties, employer, employee and government.

The conference brought the key players in the Cambodia industrial relation community-unions, employer, government, international buyer associations, and other relevant and civil society organizations under the theme of Collective Bargaining for Improved Industrial Ration: Collective to current challenges.

Mr. Sok Lor, Executive Director of the Arbitration Council Foundation said in the conference that “I believe this annual forum for key industrial relations stakeholders is an important opportunity to discuss the issues which affect Cambodia industrial relations.”

“It is important to emphasize from time to time that the core rationale for stabilizing industrial relations in Cambodia is to optimize the economic growth and social development, for benefits of both the businesses and workers”, he said. “In order for Cambodia to achieve sustainable development, this fundamental shared value must be respected by involved parties.”

He emphasized that the industry-wide strike in the garment sector created worrying impacts on the key parties involved: businesses, workers, and Cambodia as a whole. While Cambodia industrial relations have been progressing, the incident has caused damage to the stability of Cambodian industrial relations, also in garment sector to the increasingly resilient reputation of Cambodia as a good sourcing destination for the international brands.

He continued to say that it is important to note that the potential benefits of the collective bargaining agreement themselves have not been disputed by the involved stakeholders. Meanwhile, it must also recognized that the development of collective bargaining agreement have not occurred in such a manner that sufficiently responds to the needs of the garment industry. Such below-expectation development is mainly due to several impasses that have been identified for solution-oriented discussion at this conference: difficulty in collective bargaining caused by multiple-union representation, lack of genuine effort and commitment to engage in collective bargaining, fear that collective bargaining agreement would keep raising conditions favorable to only one party to the agreement.

H.E Seng Sakda, Director General of the General Department of Labor in the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, said that 2010 is the year of industrial relation in Cambodia. Start from October 1st, the minimum wage of garment sector will increase from 50$ to 61$. It shows that all parties already agree this wage that is sign of all of them certify the income of company.

“Economic growth takes a benefit from industrial which depend on private sector in use of labors such as garment, tourism and construction, he said. “It is note that The Arbitration Council Foundation is a registered local not-for-profit foundation established in 2004 to support and facilitate the labor dispute resolution work of the Arbitration Council.”

SEAW#1: NGOCRC Plans to Create Children Monitoring System in Cambodia


Published on SEAW, Vol.4, Issue 40 (1 October 2010)

By Sok Lak

Non-Government Organization Committee for Children’s Right (NGOCRC) has held a seminar on “Development of Child Right Monitoring Mechanism and System” September 30th, 2010, at Cambodiana Hotel.

The purpose of this seminar is to understand UN Human Right Monitoring Mechanisms’ center idea, look through the applying of UN convention on the right of the children and doing reports about the applying of children right in Cambodia.

We want to create a standard monitoring system in Cambodia in order to be easy in analysis and measurable in common way, because there are many organizations also have their monitoring system, but is different from each other and analyze in different way to create different result. Therefore, NGOCRC want to set up a monitoring system the same as UN monitoring system” Mr. Hieng Sovannara, consultant of NGO Committee said at the seminar.

He added that monitoring system is the implement tool to measure implement of government and NGOs in Cambodia. “It also help us to be well-known and lead to be success in work”

All level of government, community organization and supporting NGOCRC organization are involved in motoring system, he noted.

He remarked that state parties undertake to the committee, through the Secretary-General of the United Nation, reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the right recognized herein and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights: within two years of the entry into force of the convention for the state party concerned; thereafter every five year.

“There are many tools in collecting data of children right such as open question or close question or checklists table, related documents, report, statistics, question list and interview, he mentioned. “UN committee also give some recommendation to set up this system to add definition of children, free of children and all children must take all appropriate legislative to.”

One of the audience come from Plan organization said that all points should be specific and simple to be easy in use. It is note that NGOCRC is a national coalition of forty six NGOs in the kingdom of Cambodia whose major commonality is their commitment towards the right of child.

Women mean business


Women mean business

Women mean business

Entrepreneurship in Cambodia is showing its feminine side. Women are more active than ever in Cambodian business, at least on the micro and small end of things. And while traditional Khmer culture often relegated women to the home, more and more have decided to take their talents to the marketplace. Today, more businesses are owned by women than men.

That’s not to say it’s all rosy for females in the Cambodian business world. They still face mighty obstacles, especially if they want to take their small or micro enterprises to the next step. Higher rates of illiteracy and poor educational backgrounds make it harder for women to succeed than men. Still, the outlook for women in business is looking better than it ever has… Read more