This year is the 30th anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreements (PPA). Signed on October 23rd 1991 by representatives of the four Cambodian conflict factions, the UN and 18 other nations these agreements were originally celebrated as the first diplomatic victory of the post-Cold War era and a symbol of the global political change to come.

What does the much cited “spirit” of the Paris Peace Agreements mean to the very people meant to be inspired by it? Where do they see the country’s progress vis-à-vis its promise?

In cooperation with Future Forum and New Mandala, researcher and lecturer in the Department of Political and Social Change at ANU, Dr Katrin Travouillon has invited young Cambodian researchers to share their perspectives on the legacy of the Paris Peace Agreements 30 years on.  Their reflections are guided by their engagement with archival records that document the UN mission to Cambodia, designed to implement the Paris Peace Agreements from 1992-93, including contemporary radio programs, internal UN reports, newspapers, campaign speeches, and letters.

This project is supported by the Asia Pacific Innovation Program at the College of Asia and the Pacific in the Australian National University

Young Cambodians and the Paris Peace Agreements: a legacy

The legacy of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements is a commitment to create and uphold the conditions necessary for the Cambodian people to engage in open, meaningful, and critical debate.

Cambodia’s 1991 Paris Peace Agreements: Thirty years of contested commemoration

Stakeholders commemorate the same history, but they have different interpretations.

Essays from young Cambodians – Future Forum

Maintaining the legacy of human and civic rights: 30 years after the PPA

Both civil society and the government have roles in educating people about the law, its implementations, and their legal rights.

The PPA: Enabling Foreign Investment in Cambodia

The restoration of peace under the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) earned trust from foreign investors.

The United Nations Peacekeeping Troops: a mixed legacy

Cambodia has gone from requiring peacekeepers to contributing more than 7,000 troops specialising in de-mining and engineering.

Radio UNTAC Poems

1. Radio UNTAC: a minute for poems “The secret vote” បោះឆ្នោតសម្ងាត់

People from various provinces in the country sent letters with poems and essays to Radio UNTAC.

2. Radio UNTAC: “The authority of the police” មហិទ្ធិរិទ្ធប៉ូលីស

Others express their hopes for the future or emphasise the importance of a different political system.

3. Radio UNTAC: a minute for poems “The Boundary of Our Rights” សិទ្ធិមានត្រឹមណា

People shared words of advice, encouragement, and appeals to take the peace process seriously.

5. Radio UNTAC: a minute for poems “Unrepayable” គ្មានអ្វីតបស្នង

All types of lived experiences, which have remained, fresh in our mind, salty, sour, and bitter...

6. Radio UNTAC: a minute for poems “A song request” សំណូមពរបទចម្រៀង

Many sent music wishes to Radio UNTAC to connect with family members and friends.

Podcasts from Future Forum

Podcast 1. Guiding a transition to democracy: mission impossible?

Dive deep into archives of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia and its UNTAC Radio.

Podcast 2. UNTAC Radio: Airwaves of Hope វិទ្យុអ៊ុនតាក់៖ រលកសំឡេងនៃក្ដីសង្ឃឹម

This podcast examines the role Radio UNTAC in informing millions of Cambodians en route to casting their ballot in the much-anticipated 1993 election