This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia

Mr President, since the beginning of this month there have been fights between the armed forces along the Thai-Cambodian border, near the temple of Preah Vihear, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. We have a responsibility to protect the lives of people first and foremost, but we also have a responsibility for cultural heritage. Particularly worrying is the reported use of cluster munitions. Those reports may well be true, as neither Thailand nor Cambodia has ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions. To prevent further escalation, which would put the region at risk of destabilisation, both governments have to assume their responsibilities and also have to care for people displaced as a result of this conflict. We welcome the efforts by the ASEAN chair to facilitate a dialogue between the two countries so that the dispute can be resolved in a peaceful manner. Thailand and Cambodia have agreed to join an urgent meeting of South-East Asian nations to discuss the conflict. The Director-General of UNESCO will also send a special envoy to Bangkok and Phnom Penh to urge both sides to cooperate with a possible UNESCO mission.