Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen,​ to Commemorate the Celebration of the 156th Anniversary of World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day (WRCRC)

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CNV:

“I Love Cambodia Red Cross”

Once again, we have gathered here again on 8 May to celebrate the 156th anniversary of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. We have been doing it every year. “I love Cambodia Red Cross” is in fact a down-to-earth topic because if there is no love in it, we would not have come together every year and our people in need would not have received any assistance of any kind at all. CRC has swapped its topic every year. This time “I Love Cambodia Red Cross” has delivered, I think, a meaning that is illustrating CRC’s actions. My warm welcome to national and foreign friends and Ambassadors for their presences today.

Different Problems Require Different Solutions

It is quite fortunate that Cambodia has got the King Father, Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod Preah Norodom Sihanouk, who led this (Red Cross) movement in different circumstances. In war time, objective of the Cambodia Red Cross was to do one thing and after securing peace, we have other objectives to pursue. The President of the Cambodian Red Cross has just had your attention on war situation in Syria, dam collapse in Laos, natural disaster in Indonesia. These are different problems that require different solutions, especially what happened in Syria was no similar to what one has to do in Laos and Indonesia. Cambodia had gone through the past war activities and pursued solutions according to objectives of the Red Cross from one stage to another.

Getting to Where Victims Were

I am taking this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation to humanitarian activities carried out as is reported just now, in which nearly 14,000 families had been assisted by the Cambodia Red Cross. That was a courageous actions to get to where the victims were. I am so proud of the Cambodian Red Cross for its actions which is a big contribution to efforts to implement social protection policy of the Royal Government of Cambodia. On this point, the Cambodia Red Cross had fulfilled not only in 2018 but since after the liberation on 7 January 1979. In those days, the Cambodian Red Cross was then divided by different (political) factions. It was not yet independent. Thanks to the efforts and leadership of the late King Father, the Cambodia Red Cross has reunited and carried on to the present.

CRC and Authorities Supplement Each Other

I am taking this moment to express to the Cambodia Red Cross youth for establishing its network, as well as the Cambodia Red Cross itself for networking throughout the country, making it responsive to concerns and problems. There have been times that reports of disasters and vulnerable victims by the Cambodia Red Cross came to me before the ones from the local authorities. Please allow me to express my sincere appreciation to sub-national level authorities for the efforts they have made so far in supporting the Cambodia Red Cross’s actions. I have always reminded that the Cambodia Red Cross pursues wisely methods to seek coordination from governors, president of the provincial councils, and concerned institutions to take their parts in the Cambodia Red Cross movement. A number of public officials have become members serving the Cambodia Red Cross. We should be aware that issues addressed by the Cambodia Red Cross are in fact ones to be tackled by the authorities. In this meaning, such a collaboration is supplementing each other between the authorities and the Cambodia Red Cross for the sake of one objective only – to resolve difficult problem of our people, especially those victimized by disasters.

Generous Donations Appreciated and Thanked

I also take this moment to express sincere appreciation to efforts of HM the Queen Mother in supporting the Cambodia Red Cross activities. As former President of the Cambodia Red Cross and in her present role as honorary President, the Queen Mother has played her active roles for the last nearly 50 years so far. I am taking this opportune moment to express my heartfelt appreciation to the considerations of HM the King given to the Cambodia Red Cross as well as the Cambodian people throughout out the country. This has served as a model for our civil servants, the armed forces, and lower level officials […] according to information I have received, some provinces already celebrated the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, through which generous donations and contributions have been collected […] this has also indicated that the topic “I love Cambodia Red Cross” is touching everyone – both the ones who gives, and the ones who take […]

Culture of Sharing Helps

I think I should underline the fact that our people have this art or culture of sharing and it has played a vital role (in shaping up our society) […] we may not see it only in actions concerning the Red Cross. We can see them in different religions. In Buddhism for instance the state has not got fund to build pagodas and/or residences for monks. With culture of sharing, Buddhism followers pooled their contributions to help build them. In education, before war in 1970s, about 90% of schools were built by community sharing. The state then could only provide teachers. In the present time, about 50% of schools are built with the state coffer and the other half by generous contributions. That is not a small thing. Stemming from morale, virtue and culture of sharing, the country has been able to render assistance to those in need […] take another example, the water wells, a majority of them dug with the generous contributions. They even help build irrigation system, roads, etc. We have learnt through this fact that while our people are getting resourceful from one year to another, they are making more contributions to those courses. I hope movement of sharing from those who have to those who have not continues […]

World Also Shares

Art of sharing (resources for good courses) has been a fact not only in the framework of our country and people. It has been a way widely used in the world. Take for instance, countries have provided Cambodia with assistances. They share some resources they collected in their countries with us. They contributed to the courses carried out by the world Red Cross and Red Crescent. They make contributions to the United Nations who uses those resources to assist countries in difficulties […] I met the other day in Beijing with the Secretary General of the United Nations. I told him about Cambodia’s decision to pay up front for protection of its peacekeeping forces (in operation under the UN flag) as the UN is in financial difficulty […] I just wanted to indicate to you that sharing is not only a way of helping in a national framework but also in the world – from one country to another – either bilaterally or multilaterally […]

Cambodia Shares to Others

World has had so many changes – in geopolitics as well as in climate. As far as war is concerned, it is a man-made disaster and it has created everyday issues of refugees from one place to another, for instance now from the Middle East to Europe. It has become a heavy burden for the world […] in our region, humanitarian crisis in relation to (the Muslim) Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh has not been solved. Cambodia also picked up its share to help with this. We also did it for Laos, for Indonesia, and other countries in need of assistance (in any way we could). Climate change condition has also caused difficulties to everyone. We have had in the past few days for instance hundreds of homes hurled down by strong wind and lives – human and animal – taken by lightning. In this note, let me express my sincere appreciation to concerned and competent authorities for taking rapid disasters responses […]

Rain Comes, Shortage of Power Relieved

Weeks ago we were concerned about lacking of water in a long term. Fortunately, recently, we have had quite a number of rain. I just had a report from HE Suy Sem, Minister of Mines and Energy about generation of power in our hydropower station. We have now thanks to recent rains increased electric generation from only between 200 and 400 megawatts over 1,400 megawatts, when there were shortage of water, to 600 megawatts over 1,400 megawatts. We hope more rains will come and we will be relieved from shortage of power. The forecast has lately pointed that rainy season will come a bit early than the previous forecast. However, there will continue to be problem of hurling wind. We need to inform our people and instruct them to take precautions. While doing so, the armed forces, the military police, and police, must be ready at all time to help our people. Other sectors such as healthcare, etc., must also be on alert.

“I Love CRC” in Actions

I am calling on efforts to translate “I Love Cambodia Red Cross” slogan into concrete national actions – from top leaders to grass-root level. I am sure our people will be able to do it as this theory is to create harmony between those who have and those who have not in responding to people in need […] let me reaffirm that HM the King and HM the Queen Mother have each contributed twenty thousand USD to the Cambodia Red Cross for its specified actions […] once again, I thank everyone of you who have made your time to be present in this event today and I hope that we will be making donations for the sake of CRC activities to be carried through from 8 May 2019 through to 8 May 2020 […] thanks to the fact that our country is in firm peace, people have been able to make their livings in business and trades. This has brought about their ability to contribute. I do not take more of your time. Let us give more time to generous donations from Excellencies, Lok Chumteav, Okhna, ladies and gentlemen. Let me wish the CRC all the bests in its endeavors and be blessed with the five Buddhist blessings./.