On 3 and 4 December 2013, bilateral negotiations between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany were held in Phnom Penh to agree on new financial commitments for 2013 and 2014. The negotiations were jointly chaired by H.E. Chhieng Yanara, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board at the Council for the Development of Cambodia, and Dr. Andreas Pfeil, Head of Division for Central Asia, East Asia, PDR Laos and Cambodia at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The negotiations took place in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. There was discussion about important political issues including transparency in the allocation of official development assistance (ODA), public sector reform, international labour standards with particular reference to the garment sector, the level of counterpart funding of parallel contributions to rural infrastructure programmes, joint programming at EU level and mainstreaming the needs of people with disabilities. BMZ proposed the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of Food security (December 2012) as a guiding international framework for tackling the question of land reform in Cambodia. The Rectangular Strategy Phase III presented by the Cambodian delegation was warmly welcomed by the German Delegation.
The outcome of the negotiations was the decision by the Federal Republic of Germany to provide the Royal Government of Cambodia with an additional amount of *47.05 million euros* for bilateral technical and financial cooperation for the years 2013 and 2014 (Health 20.1 million; Rural Development 19.6 million; Good Governance 4.05 million; Study and Expert Fund 3.5 million ).
In accepting the support, the Royal Government of Cambodia expressed its sincere appreciation to the German people and government and emphasized that the Royal Government’s commitment to reform is very strong. It further emphasized that good governance, in particular the fight against corruption, is at the heart of the Royal Government’s reform efforts as articulated in the Rectangular Strategy Phase III.
The successful completion of the negotiations was marked by a reception hosted by H. E. Joachim von Marschall, German Ambassador to the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia.