Australians working in Cambodia during the time of the United Nations Mission (1992-1993)

Commemorating 30 Years since the UN Elections

To commemorate the 30 years anniversary of the first free and fair elections in Cambodia,  Marje Prior has produced a series of podcasts based on the oral history recordings she did during 1993 with Cambodian Peaceworkers for her book, Shooting at the Moon published in 1994.

In May 1993, despite threats from the Khmer Rouge, over four million Cambodians (about 90% of eligible voters) participated in the UN held elections. The first after the devastating reign of Pol Pot and the occupation by the Vietnamese. A democratically elected government was installed which, despite some serious stumbles along the way, still holds to this day.

The elections occurred two years after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords (23 October 1991) and the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 745 (adopted 28 February 1992). Under the banner of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), there is probably little doubt they could have occurred without the intensive support provided by the international community.

Australia played a key role in this process. From those involved with the Paris Peace Accord to UNTAC. The military, Australian Federal Police, non-government organisations, diplomatic personnel, UN contractors, media and the hundreds of Australians who spent time in Cambodia during this period.

Pictured is photographer, Heide Smith (L) and Marje Prior (R) at Battambang.

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