The meeting paved the way for the cycles of political negotiations that followed. The first and second informal meetings in Jakarta, also known as JIM 1 and JIM 2, took place in 1988 and 1989 respectively. In June 1990, the four parties to the conflict agreed on Japan`s initiative and support for a conference in Tokyo, where Prince Sihanouk and Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a joint communiqué on the creation of the Supreme National Council (SNC), the main political agreement that led to the conclusion of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement. That`s when I learned, even though I was too young to understand the proxy war or the confrontation between East and West, the peace negotiations led by the Khmer Service of the Voice of America. I didn`t even know how promising the Paris Peace Agreement was. But the only thing I knew was that if the war was over, there would be no more artillery bombardment from any of the parties to the conflict, and no more villagers would die. For the CPC, the Paris Agreements have meanwhile been subdated into the party`s own fundamental myths, as evidenced by Hun Sen`s remarks on the anniversary of the agreement. Hun Sen argued that Paris would never have happened had it not been for the meetings between him and Prince Norodom Sihanouk, which took place in France in 1987. He also pointed out (rightly) that the Paris Accords had not ended Cambodia`s civil war, which he attributed to the offensives and amnesties of his own government in the late 1990s – a policy that the CPC`s historiography has since canonized as a « win-win policy ». After the Khmer Rouge`s final reintegration into Cambodian society in early 1999, Cambodia`s chronic civil war officially ended. However, the absence of armed conflict and violence does not mean that Cambodia is at peace. The deterioration of democracy and human rights, the decline of media freedom, the seeds of corruption remain critical challenges.
Conference participants gave and discussed the following lessons to understand the importance of the AAE balance sheet and apply the lessons to future peace agreements. Professor Subedi commented on the two decades since the agreements were signed and noted that peace and stability had brought « enormous dividends » to the country. The statement accused the government of Mr. Hun`s Cambodian People`s Party (CPP) of violating the terms of the Paris Agreements and the Cambodian constitution that it helped shape by allowing the Chinese military from Cambodian soil. In July 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two countries had signed a secret agreement allowing China access to the Ream naval base in the Gulf of Thailand. Similar suspicions are also linked to a major tourism development supported by China, higher up the coast. The Cambodian government has strenuously denied these reports. « If there were no win-win policy that I formulated, edited and directed with the participation of all interest groups and the Cambodian people, there would be no peace as it is today, » said Hun Sen. « I hope that politicians and people will judge the evolution of the country on the basis of these historical facts. » Just as Hun Sen made his remarks, the demonstrations held to mark the anniversary in front of the American and Chinese embassies in Phnom Penh were violently dissipated. Elections do not end the conflict: the international community must support political and economic rights in long-term peace agreements. The 1993 elections were a widely proclaimed success and initially gave Cambodians much hope for the future.