Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia (Cambodia), with its capital in Phnom Penh, is bordered by Vietnam to the east, Lao PDR to the northeast, Thailand to the west, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. Cambodia has an area of 181,035 square kilometers with a total population estimated at 14.8 million people. The ethnic majority are Khmer, making up 90% of the population, with the remainder consisting of Cham (Khmer Muslim), Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Phnorng, Kuoy, Stieng, Tamil, and other groups.

The national language is Khmer and English, French and Mandarin are also spoken. As stated in the Constitution, Theravada Buddhism is the state religion, and is practiced by over 90% of the population. Other faiths practiced in Cambodia include Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity.

Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy and, as stated in article 51 of the 1993 Constitution, is guided by the principles of liberal democracy and pluralism. Under the Constitution, power is separated into an executive branch (Council of Ministers led by a Prime Minister), a legislative branch (a bicameral parliament consisting of a National Assembly and a Senate), and a judicial branch (Supreme Council of Magistracy). The King is the Head of State for life and shall reign but not govern (art. 7). National Assembly members are elected through national elections every five years, with the first democratic election being held in 1993 under the auspices of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia. The party or coalition winning the majority of seats can form a government that is headed by the Prime Minister. Cambodia’s current Prime Minister, Hun Sen, is one of the longest serving in the world. Senators are elected by parliamentarians and commune councils, with two Senators appointed by the king and two appointed by the National Assembly.

Cambodia joined the United Nations (UN) on 14 December 1955. Cambodia is also a member of various international organizations, including, among others, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), G-77, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and World Trade Organization (WTO).