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Dancing in Shadows: Lessons from the Cambodian Tragedy for Today


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Friday, April 17, 2:30 p.m., Saunders Hall (Friedman Room, Level 6)
Presented by Dr. Benny Widyono, Professor of Economics at the University of Connecticut

Benny Widyono will discuss his five years of international service in Cambodia from 1992 to 1997, first as a member of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), and later as the UN Secretary-General’s Representative in Cambodia. From his perspective as part of UNTAC’s top administration, he observed the mission’s ultimate failure. Prior to UNTAC, Dr Widyono was stationed at the UN headquarters in New York where he witnessed the Cold War manipulations of the Cambodian tragedy by the big powers. Cambodia’s experience with the United Nations shows that the latter’s capability to solve world problems continues to be distorted by the dominance by the five powers who won World War II sixty four years ago.


Dr. Benny Widyono, an Indonesian, served as a United Nations civil servant in Bangkok, Santiago, New York and Cambodia between 1963 and 1997. In 1992-93 he served as UNTAC’s Provincial Director of Siem Reap; subsequently in 1994-97 he served as the UN Secretary-General’s Political Representative to the Royal Government of Cambodia. His recently published book, Dancing in Shadows: Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge and the United Nations was written while he was a visiting scholar at Cornell University. Dr Widyono holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Texas and is currently a professor of Economics at the University of Connecticut at Stamford, CT.

Copies of the book will be available for sale.

book launch | official site