In May 1993, despite threats from the Khmer Rouge, over 4 million Cambodians (about 90% of eligible voters) participated in elections, the first after the devastating reign of Pol Pot and occupation by the Vietnamese. A democratically elected government was installed which, despite some serious stumbles along the way, still holds to this day.
The elections occurred more than a year after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords (23 October 1991) and the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 745 (adopted 28 February 1992). Under the banner of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) there is probably little doubt they could have occurred without the intensive support provided by the international community through UNTAC, non-government organisations (NGO) and diplomatic missions.
Australia played a key role in this process. From those involved with the Paris Peace Accord to UNTAC. The military, non government organisations, diplomatic personnel, UN contractors, media and the hundreds of Australians who spent time in Cambodia in the 1992-93 period. In 2013, to mark the 20th anniversary, a fund raising event was held in Canberra of a gathering of people who worked in Cambodia during that time.
Marje Prior, the author and publisher of Shooting At the Moon, which documented the Cambodian Peace Process, is now researching a new book as a retrospective of Australia’s first major involvement in peacekeeping.
If you are interested in your story being included please contact her.