The Arbitration Council Foundation (ACF) announces the formal resignation of Mr. Sok Lor as ACF Executive Director.  Mr. Sok Lor took a sabbatical from his post to undertake the Master of Laws (LLM) program at Harvard Law School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in mid-2014. Having recently completed his LLM, Lor said “I look forward to starting the next chapter of my career. I leave with great pride in the institution I was privileged to support and confident the Arbitration Council’s success will continue.  I am excited to pursue new professional opportunities in Cambodia.” Lor has indicated his firm commitment to continue supporting the work of the ACF and the “…community of individuals who are highly professional, personally dedicated, and mutually caring.

Lor joined the ACF in 2006, rising to the position of Executive Director in 2009; serving the ACF and Cambodia’s Arbitration Council (AC), the national institution for labour dispute resolution, for a cumulative 9 plus years. Said Lor, “I am grateful to the arbitrators of the Council, the ACF Board, management and staff, and the many partners especially our tripartite partners, stakeholders and donors, all of whom contributed to the sustained achievements of the Arbitration Council and its essential services in Cambodia.” Lor’s leadership and passion for the objectives of the AC have helped to cement it as a central hub for balanced and transparent industrial relations arbitration, training and expertise.

ACF Chairman of the Board, Kong Phallack, acknowledges the executive leadership Lor has provided for the ACF: “His knowledge, management skills and innate talent are hard to find in an emerging economy. He has and will be an industrial relations catalyst in Cambodia.  I wish him every success for his future career and trust he will continue to be an ambassador of the Arbitration Council.

On behalf of the ACF, Mr. Men Nimmith, Acting Executive Director, says: “Lor’s ability to manage the complexity of the ACF with such a high level of professionalism, always with a smile, is profoundly impressive. As a friend, a colleague, a predecessor, and now an interim successor of his, it is extremely hard for me seeing him leaving the ACF, but at the same time it gives me true delight that he will pursue his next career in Cambodia and will continue to contribute to the ACF.” 

The Arbitration Council has contributed to Cambodia’s positive market image and to ensuring increased labour productivity by effectively dealing with disruptive industrial conflicts. Since 2003, the Council has received over 2,000 cases, helping over 900,000 women and men working in Cambodia. The vast majority (approximately 90%) arise from the garment sector which is one of the main pillars of Cambodia’s extraordinary economic growth. In 2014 alone, garments and textiles accounted for 80% of Cambodia’s total exports, were worth approximately $5.75 billion. Through the AC’s conciliation, arbitration and interim return-to-work orders the economic benefit of the AC for the garment and footwear industry alone has been estimated in the range of $90 million to $140 million per year. In addition to the essential labour dispute resolution service of the AC, ACF provides outreach services which aim to strengthen the capacity of parties to resolve workplace conflict early, wherever their workplace and whatever the industry.

I have been part of the Arbitration Council family for almost a decade. I have watched the organisation mature and develop into a dynamic, multi-faceted change agent relentlessly pursuing quality dispute resolution services for the long term good of Cambodia. I am particularly proud of the esteemed arbitrators and my outstanding former colleagues who helped build what stands today as a model of excellence and integrity in Cambodia. I am confident they will continue to do exceptional work.” - Sok Lor 

Mr. Men Nimmith, ACF Executive Director before Lor’s tenure, will continue to serve as Acting Executive Director, working with the ACF Executive Management Team and the ACF Board of Directors, to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of high quality services expected from the Arbitration Council and ACF. Lor and the ACF leadership team are conferring to determine available avenues for his continued contribution to the Arbitration Council and strong, harmonious industrial relations in Cambodia.