Samdech Vibol Sena Pheakdei Say Chhum, President of the Cambodian Senate and Co-President of the 11th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP11) being organised by Cambodia, shared three important views to overcome the catastrophe from the COVID-19 pandemic and to achieve a resilient and inclusive economic recovery quickly.

First, he said, in addressing confrontations and tensions on trade, geopolitics and armed conflicts, he encouraged all parties to promote peaceful dialogues with respect for international law, sovereignty, independence and non-interference in domestic affairs so as to seek a win-win solution, national unity and global unity.

“Second, we all, especially large economy countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the COVAX mechanism and all relevant partners should further enhance our best efforts to mobilise financial resources and vaccines to swiftly support countries that are not able to afford the vaccine costs or that face challenges in procuring the vaccines regardless of races, religions and political tendencies. As we cannot foresee the end of the pandemic and future economic implications, we also need to be better prepared with strategies and policies for preventing other emerging infectious diseases and ensuring economic sustainability,” he added.

Third, Samdech Say Chhum stressed the need to reinvigorate the principles of globalisation, multilateralism, liberalisation, trade and investment, rather than retreating from them, to promote the rules-based trading system and improve global supply chains without disruptions to ensure an inclusive and sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery.

“Most importantly, we need to put the people at the centre of our recovery plans. We, therefore, need to allocate more resources on social protection which should not be viewed as the investment at the expense of our prosperity, but the investment on the people and our future as it helps build stronger regional economies. We also need to help facilitate the adaptation of the people to the new normal through re-skilling, up-skilling and the adoption of innovative technologies,” he underlined.

Samdech Say Chhum continued that for the past 25 years, ASEM has evolved into a significant platform for global governance and the strengthening of multilateralism. On the one hand, the equal partnership of ASEM has provided benefits for people in Asia and Europe through enhancement of cooperation on trade, economy, tourism, culture, education, environment, investment, health, technology and among others. As today, obviously, ASEM represents 65 percent of the world economy, 55 percent of global trade, 75 percent of world tourism and 60 percent of the world’s population.

On the other hand, he pointed out, both bilateral and multilateral cooperation frameworks, ASEM have contributed enormously to poverty alleviation in least developed countries (LDCs) and developing countries; to the safeguard of peace, security, stability and development, as well as the enhancement of connectivity, people-to-people relations, multi-religions and glorious civilisations.

Themed “Strengthening Parliamentary Partnership for Peace and Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond”, the ASEP11 is held via videoconference on Nov. 16, about a week ahead of the 13th Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM13) to be hosted by Cambodia,

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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