The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has requested that more than 100 NGOs in Cambodia collaborate and focus more attention on combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

In a press release, the ministry said that on the morning of April 27, its “Taskforce for Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and [WMD] Proliferation Financing” organised a “webinar” to disseminate their “Guidelines and Procedures of Forwarding Without Delay the Resolutions or Updated Consolidated List [of banned entities] of the UN Security Council (UNSC) or its Committee”.

The webinar was presided over by Cheng Manith, head of the ministry’s General Department of International Cooperation with participation by 115 representatives from foreign-operated NGOs in Cambodia.

The webinar was organised to disseminate the guidelines in order to contribute to effective and efficient implementation of the Law on Combating the Financing of Proliferation of WMD, in line with the UNSC’s resolutions and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an intergovernmental body formed in July, 1989, at the Group of Seven (G7) summit.

The webinar provided a brief overview of the laws and regulations in Cambodia and the NGOs’ obligations under it as reporting entities, focusing on the step-by-step procedures and responsibilities of the officials in charge of each NGO.

“At the end of the webinar, the ministry requested that the participants cooperate and pay careful attention to understanding the tasks related to combating the proliferation of WMD and for implementing the guidelines,” the press release stated.

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, said on April 28 that Cambodia must strive to implement this law according to international legal principles and especially the UN’s principles, in order to successfully combat the financing of the proliferation of WMD.

However, the inclusion of relevant individuals or entities on the blacklist made by the UNSC must be justified with clear research, evidence and arguments, he said.

“Taking part in this initiative and making Cambodia’s voices heard – including the government and our civil society organisations – is important because we see the catastrophe in Ukraine that has happened with the use of heavy weapons – due to concerns over WMD – and which has now gotten to the point that the threat exists that nuclear weapons may be used,” he said.