The year 2022 is just around the corner and Cambodia will soon undertake the role of ASEAN chairmanship for the third time. This would be a moment of pride and also pressure.
ASEAN has always been an integral part of Cambodia’s foreign policy. Despite being a latecomer, Cambodia has proven to be an active and constructive supporter of the ASEAN Community-building. The country’s boldness in assuming her first ASEAN chairmanship in 2002 after merely three years of her participation in this regional grouping demonstrated a strong political will and unwavering commitment of Cambodia’s top leadership towards regional integration and multilateralism. Such commitment remains unchanged but ever more resolute.
We are proud to be an active actor in the ASEAN Community that is very relevant in the global community of nations. Despite criticism of being a “talk-shop”, countries outside the region often look for ASEAN for platform to address concerns in the region, for investment destinations, for trade partners, and for all other benefits that functional multilateralism can offer.
As a matter of fact, despite challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, ASEAN is probably one of the most active regional bodies that are making efforts to provide innovative and regionally coordinated solutions to these unprecedented challenges. The establishment of the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund, the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement (TCA) Framework, and the proposed establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) and the development of the ASEAN Public Health Emergency Coordination System (APHECS) are key evidence of pro-active policy coordination works across the region that is probably unseen in other regions of the world.
Full article available here: https://phnompenhpost.com/opinion/cambodias-preparation-asean-chairmanship-2022