Since its membership in 1999 and as the last member to join ASEAN, Cambodia has been playing a very pro-active role in the ASEAN Community building process, said Cambodian Prime Minster Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen in his ASEAN Day Message on Aug. 8

This year Cambodia has the honour and privilege to assume its role as the rotating Chair of ASEAN for the third time, he said, continuing that its chairmanship theme of “ASEAN A.C.T: Addressing Challenges Together” reflects Cambodia’s commitment to harness the ASEAN’s spirit of “togetherness” to uphold and promote ASEAN Centrality, unity, and solidarity in our concerted actions to address common regional challenges as well as to enhance ASEAN’s contribution to regional and global peace, stability, security, and sustainable development.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen underlined that Cambodia is a proactive contributor to the ASEAN Political-Security Community with its steadfast commitment and collective responsibility in maintaining and promoting regional peace and security.

“We have supported the momentum of ASEAN’s pro-active contribution to regional and global peace, including through UN peacekeeping operations. In the last 15 years, Cambodia has deployed nearly 8,000 UN peacekeepers for missions in several countries across the globe. The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) headquartered in Phnom Penh has also enhanced ASEAN’s visibility in addressing the humanitarian aspects of the issues of landmines and the explosive remnants of war (ERW). We firmly believe that the protection of human security is an integral part of the maintenance of world peace and security,” he stressed.

Cambodia continues to attach great importance to the promotion of the universal principles of peaceful co-existence and friendly cooperation enshrined in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), he reaffirmed, adding that with currently 49 Parties to the TAC, our cooperation and partnerships with our External Partners have grown steadily from year to year spanning multiple continents and reflecting ASEAN’s growing relevance and significance in regional and world affairs.

The Cambodian Premier expressed his concerns over many pressing security challenges, the most important ones being the situation in Myanmar, the South China Sea, the Korean peninsula, and the Russia-Ukraine war. “These issues could destabilise our regional peace and stability if we are not able to handle them properly,” he said.

However, he emphasised, ASEAN long-term growth and prosperity will depend on our resilience in re-boosting regional economic recovery and growth. “We need to put more efforts to implement a broad spectrum of initiatives ranging from industrial transformation, digitalisation, and innovation to integration of the global supply chains, digital economy and e-commerce. We need to push for a more vibrant and harmonious ASEAN Community from seeking more protection for our migrant workers and increasing support for green and inclusive development agenda and the UN SDGs targets. In the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we have no choice but to enable the digital transformation of our women and youth entrepreneurship,” he explained.

According to the Prime Minister, the implementing the RCEP agreement remains a priority. RCEP will stimulate economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, create jobs, and strengthen regional supply chain in the region and the world as a whole. As the Chair of ASEAN 2022, Cambodia will work closely with RCEP countries to promote the full and effective implementation of the RCEP Agreement to further intensify the facilitation of cross-border trade movements.

Moreover, he said, Cambodia aims to further advance the ASEAN Community building process by emphasising on the need to deliver on all the agreed key targets and initiatives under the three ASEAN Community Blueprints 2025, including the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025), the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan IV (IAI Work Plan IV), among others.

“Indeed, the importance of narrowing the development gap remains the key agenda in ASEAN Community building. We are also working together on the Post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision to address the increasing complexity of opportunities and emerging challenges facing the ASEAN region,” Samdech Techo Hun Sen said.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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