As Asean marked 54 years as an economic union yesterday, Cambodia celebrated 22 years as a member state. It joined Asean on April 30, 1999 as its tenth member. Cambodia has chaired Asean twice before – in 2002 and 2012. It is now set to chair again for 2022.
On the occasion of Asean Day, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Cambodia will strive to promote mechanisms based on honesty and solidarity and develop the vision of the Asean community in preparation for the Asean chairmanship with the handover this November.
This year, Asean Day was celebrated under the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, which highlights the current acute geopolitical and socio-economic challenges leading to the realisation of the Asean Community Vision 2025.
He said that to prepare for the rotating chairmanship of Asean in 2022, Cambodia will focus on promoting practical joint action based on openness, honesty, goodwill, solidarity and harmony in Asean to address common issues in the region.
Cambodia is committed to making Asean an important region for trade, investment and global supply chain by maximising the benefits of free trade agreements and comprehensive economic partnerships in the region, Mr Hun Sen said.
“We wish to enhance Asean’s international reputation and actively contribute to peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations under the auspices of the United Nations through activities such as humanitarian action in the mine sector, where the ASEAN Regional Center for Mine Action can play an important role,” he said.
Cambodia also aims to accelerate the process of building the Asean community by focusing on achieving key goals and initiatives under the detailed plans of the three Asean communities by 2025, including the ASEAN Master Plan 2025 and the Fourth Phase Work Plan of Initiatives for ASEAN Integration.
In particular, efforts will be made to promote the protection of migrant workers and to promote the use of digital technology for micro, small and medium enterprises, and women and youth entrepreneurship, Mr Hun Sen said.
He said he enjoys nurturing Asean as an organisation with a vision to the outside world. Cambodia will seek to explore the possibility of enhancing partnerships with existing Asean dialogue partners and expanding the list of Asean external partners based on Asean principles, including in the Asean perspective on the Indo-Pacific, he said.