October 23 marks 30 years since the Paris Peace Agreements (PPA) formally ended the Cambodian civil war. A remarkable feat of international cooperation, the PPA facilitated an end to decades of violent conflict in Cambodia and sought to rebuild a country ravaged by genocide and civil war. The implementation of these landmark agreements, signed in the aftermath of the Cold War, facilitated the return of more than 360,000 refugees and a national election in which 90 percent of the population voted.

Embedded in the agreements are enduring commitments — made by Cambodia and other signatories in the international community — to respect, support, encourage and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. 30 years since the agreements were signed, where do these commitments stand today?

On October 14 USIP and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) held a discussion that reflected on the principles of the agreements, the extent to which signatories have adhered to them and the continued relevance of the agreements today. Speakers examined the realities of the agreements’ implementation, and explored opportunities for the international community to reaffirm and uphold their commitment to promote and encourage respect for — and observance of — human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cambodia.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #CambodiaPeaceat30.


Ariel Eckblad, remarks 
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, U.S. Department of State.

H.E. Chum Sounry
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Lise Grande, opening remarks
President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace

Craig Etcheson
Visiting Scientist, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

Caroline Hughes
Associate Dean for Policy & Practice; Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Chair in Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Aizawa Nobuhiro
Associate Professor, Kyushu University

Sorpong Peou
Professor, Ryerson University

Chak Sopheap
Executive Director, Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)

Andrew Wells-Dang, moderator
Senior Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Related Publications

The Latest @ USIP: War Legacies and Peace in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

The Latest @ USIP: War Legacies and Peace in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

By: Ambassador Ted Osius;  Ton Nu Thi Ninh

The process of postwar reconciliation between the United States, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia is one of the most remarkable stories of the 21st century. The legacies of U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, once a major obstacle to normal relations, have gradually become the basis for a closer partnership. USIP recently brought together diplomats, advocates and authors to draw lessons from U.S. engagement in Southeast Asia and explore how Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians are healing from wartime suffering and building a future based on trust and shared interests.

Type: Blog


Never Again? The Legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Never Again? The Legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Monday, October 3, 2022

By: Nicole Cochran;  Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.

Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled over Cambodia committed untold atrocities, with an estimated 1.5 to 2 million people dying of starvation, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. In mid-September, over 40 years after its reign of terror, the only formal accountability mechanism to prosecute the Khmer Rouge —the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) — issued the final decision of its judicial mandate. While the court's legacy is complex, it served an important platform for accountability and reparations for victims. As it moves to a new phase of residual functions over the next three years, the international community should prioritize supporting its work, which is vital to boosting peace and stability and protecting the rights of Cambodians.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

China’s Security Force Posture in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia

China’s Security Force Posture in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

By: John Bradford

China’s geo-economic influence is empowering the expansion of its security force posture in the Lower Mekong region, which should be of concern to both maritime Southeast Asia and the United States. While Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia—the geographic core of mainland Southeast Asia—are demonstrating resilience and sustaining some strategic autonomy, several trends indicate that their options may be increasingly limited. This report looks at China’s security force posture in these nations, the possible ramifications of that posture, and considerations for balancing U.S. policy and outreach. 

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Lessons from Cambodia’s Paris Peace Accords for Political Unrest Today

Lessons from Cambodia’s Paris Peace Accords for Political Unrest Today

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

By: Laura McGrew;  Scott Worden

In December 2016, to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement that ended the decade-long war between Cambodia and Vietnam, USIP hosted a conference to examine the implementation of that agreement and how the decisions made in the past have affected increasing political unrest in the country. Panelists included several key actors...

Type: Peace Brief

Peace Processes

View All Publications