Cambodia is committed to strengthen and promote peace, stability, security and prosperity in the ASEAN region for the people’s well-being.

The commitment was emphasised by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, on the ASEAN Day 2021 (Aug. 8).

“In less than five months, Cambodia will take over the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN for the third time since joining the association in 1999. During its chairmanship of ASEAN in 2022, Cambodia will continue to promote mechanisms that focus on strengthening practical joint activities based on openness, honesty, goodwill, solidarity and harmony in ASEAN to effectively resolve the common challenges that our entire region is facing,” he said.

More importantly, he added, with the strong support and solidarity of ASEAN member countries and external partners, Cambodia will strive to ensure tangible benefits for the region’s people without leaving anyone behind.

“Our immediate priority now is to ensure a more satisfactory outcome of ASEAN’s efforts to recover from the COVID-19 crisis with greater resilience. Our urgent task is to continue strengthening cooperation in carrying out measures under the five comprehensive strategies of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, including: (1) strengthening health system, (2) strengthening human security, (3) expanding the potential of ASEAN markets and broader economic integration, (4) accelerating inclusive digital information, and (5) taking a step towards a sustainable and resilient future,” he underlined.

Furthermore, the Premier expressed Cambodia’s intention to accelerate the process of ASEAN Community building by focusing on achieving key goals and initiatives already agreed under the detailed plans of the three ASEAN pillars by 2025, including the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan IV. “At the same time, we are committed to making ASEAN an important region for trade, investment and global supply chains by maximising the benefits of existing free trade agreements and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) recently signed,” he said.

“As we prepare the groundwork for the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision, Cambodia will continue to push for a more vibrant and harmonious ASEAN Community. We will strive to enhance the protection of migrant workers and increase support for a green and inclusive development agenda. The transition to digital technology for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and women and youth entrepreneurship are the areas on which we need to focus,” Samdech Techo Hun Sen pointed out.

MSMEs are the backbone of our local economy and represent 99 percent of all business entities, mostly owned by women (60 percent in Cambodia) and employ more than 80 percent of labour force in the ASEAN member countries, he said, adding that supporting this sector will not only help restore and promote sustainable economic growth, but also ensure that we do not fail to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

As there is a growing recognition that women have a role to play beyond socio-economic development, he continued, Cambodia will push for support for the Women for Peace and Security Agenda. In addition, we wish to enhance ASEAN’s international reputation and its active contribution to peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations under the UN umbrella through activities such as humanitarian mine action, while the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre can play an important role.

“Cambodia appreciates ASEAN as an organisation with a vision to the outside world. As we strive to unite all Southeast Asian nations into one strong family, we will also strive to further deepen and broaden our relations and cooperation with external partners in the spirit of equality, mutual interests and respect. Cambodia will seek to explore the potential for enhancing partnerships with existing ASEAN Dialogue Partners and expanding the ASEAN external partnership list based on ASEAN principles, including the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. To overcome negative geopolitical trends, we are committed to enhancing an agenda that promotes the spirit of cooperation and support for the ASEAN centrality, as well as regional peace, stability and progress,” said Samdech Techo Prime Minister.

 

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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