UNESCO chief distressed by loss of life outside ancient Cambodian temple

16 October 2008

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has voiced his grave concern at the recent clashes between Thai and Cambodian soldiers outside the Preah Vihear temple, which have reportedly led to the deaths of two people.

Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura reiterated UNESCO’s support of all efforts and initiatives that promote cooperation and dialogue.

He also added his voice to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who, in a statement yesterday, called on both parties to exercise utmost restraint and urged them to expedite bilateral talks so that their differences can be resolved peacefully.

The Temple of Preah Vihear, which dates back to the 11th century, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in July for its “exceptional universal value.”

UNESCO noted that the inscription “engages the collective responsibility of the international community to ensure its protection.”


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Secretary-General urges restraint as Cambodian-Thai border row turns deadly

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep concern about the exchange of gunfire today along the Cambodian-Thai border near a disputed ancient temple that has reportedly led to the deaths of at least two people.