What it means for Cambodia to be an Asean member state

Two years after the Paris Peace Agreement, Cambodia paved its way to become a guest country in Asean from 1993 to 1995 and an observer from 1995 to 1996. In April 1999, Cambodia became a full-fledged member and on the 20th anniversary of Cambodia’s membership today, experts reflect on the Kingdom’s role in Asean and mull challenges going forward.

In his welcome statement to Cambodia in 1999, then-Asean secretary-general Rodolfo Severino said it was a “truly a historic moment” that after 32 years Asean had fulfilled the vision of the founding fathers to unite all nations of Southeast Asia under one roof.

“The realisation of ‘Asean-10’ has not only a symbolic significance, but also immense implications for the future of our region,” Mr Severino said. “With mutual respect and equality, we have turned our diversity to our advantage and pulled together to advance our common interest in strengthening peace and stability in our region.”

“The Kingdom of Cambodia’s membership will be a substantial contribution to this endeavour,” he added.

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