Kampuchea's Vietnamese-backed government is under pressure from more than 60 nations to lift obstacles hampering relief workers moving supplies to refugee areas.
GV EXTERIOR PAN: Refugee camp with huts and people sitting on ground (Library Film)
CU ZOOM OUT: Mother holding starving child (2 shots) (Library Film)
GV: Conference platform UN headquarters in Geneva
SVs: Japanese and Chinese delegates sitting (2 shots)
GV: Platform with Waldheim speaking
GV ZOOM IN: Platform shot continues with Sir Robhert Jackson, UN Kampuchean Relief Coordinator reading Waldheim statement, in English as delegates look on (4 shots)
WALDHEIM: "I declare open, I declare open this meeting. Sir Robert Jackson will now read my statement.
JACKSON: "The following is the statement of the Secretary General. Distinguished delegates, last summer as we were meeting in this very hall in an effort to find a solution to the agonizing problems of refugees and displaced persons in Indochina, the world was the also awakening to the tragedy affecting Kampuchea. The people of this country ravaged by conflict, were on the verge of extinction as a result of widespread starvation, malnutrition, disease and a total disruption of the economy. Numerous volunteer organisations mounted valuable programmes of assistance. Thailand, the most heavily affected neighbouring country, played a pivotal role by pursuing humane policies concerning the influx of Kampuchean refugees and by agreeing to the use of its facilities to forward supplies to the population inside Kampuchea. For the period April to June 1980 1942 million dollars are needed. The accumulative requirement until the end of the year is estimated, a this stage of 284 million dollars are needed. The accumulative requirement until the end of the year is estimated, at this stage at 284 million dollars. Of this total, 103 million dollars is funded to date, further pledges of 181 million dollars are therefore needed. This amount includes 39 million dollars urgently required for food and other assistance to be provided before the end of June."
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Background: Kampuchea's Vietnamese-backed government is under pressure from more than 60 nations to lift obstacles hampering relief workers moving supplies to refugee areas. A two-day United Nations sponsored meeting at its European headquarters in Geneva ended on Tuesday (27 May) with delegates calling on the Phnom Penh government to make policy changes to avert mass starvation. These included letting relief supplies to be flown directly to Phnom Penh from Bangkok, instead of by the present more indirect routes. Delegates also said more foreign aid officials should be allowed into the country to assess the situation and to direct the distribution of supplies. Representatives of the Soviet Union, the Phnom Penh government and Vietnam all refused to attend the conference which Tass, the officials Soviet news agency, said was motivated by a desire to interfere in kampuchea's internal affairs.
SYNOPSIS: The plight of the refugees was outlined by the delegates from Kampuchea's neighbours, who warned that renewed famine was likely it rice seed shipments were not allowed into the country in time for the monsoon season which begins next month. It has been estimated that more than 180 million dollars is still needed to pay for relief supplies this year. Of that, delegates to conference pledged 116 million dollars. Soviet charges of interference in Kampuchea domestic affairs were rejected by delegates. One said "When a house is on fire and neighbours rush to help, is that called interference?"
At the opening session The United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim was suffering from a cold, and spoke only briefly.