Remarks by Samdech Techo HUN SEN, At the World Summit General Assembly: Centenary General Assembly and International Summit Council for Peace Under the Theme “Peace, Security and Human Development”

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Remarks by Samdech Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Honorary Founding Chairman of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) At the World Summit General Assembly: Centenary General Assembly and International Summit Council for Peace Under the Theme “Peace, Security and Human Development”

Seoul, Republic of Korea, February 4, 2020

(10:00 – 12:00)

  • Excellencies Head of States and Head of Governments;
  • Excellency Hak Ja Han Moon, Co-Founder of Universal Peace Federation;
  • Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary General of the United Nations;
  • Excellency Jose de Venecia, Co-chairman of the ICAPP;
  • Thomas G. Walsh, Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation;
  • Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today, I am honored and delighted to join the “World Summit General Assembly: Centenary General Assembly and International Summit Council for Peace”. At the outset, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC), I would like to express profound gratitude to the people and the government of the Republic of Korea and Universal Peace Federation for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and Cambodia’s delegation.

This World Summit is an important forum, providing a rare opportunity for both government and non-government leaders from all corners to discuss and exchange views on the development of regional and global situations, with the aim of resolving common challenges so as to maintain peace, security and ensure sustainable human development for the world. Furthermore, the theme of this forum “Peace, Security and Human Development” is relevant and important while all nations around the world are currently facing with a wide range of challenges threatening peace, economic growth, prosperity and harmony of the people in the world.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Certainly, peace is the foundation for development. But now global peace remains rather fragile as the world is moving toward a new multi-polar framework with competing interests and rebalancing of global power. For instance, the world is facing with severe and potentially protracted trade-war that are creating economic risks and negatively impacting medium-term economic growth as well as overall socio-economic development.

In recent years, climate change has also become a huge risk threatening the development and security of humankind. Global warming, rising sea level, loss of biodiversity and natural resources, bigger and more frequent natural disasters as well as dry-up of main water sources one after another, have become topic for which many countries are hotly debating about,  and are likely to be a cause of dispute between countries in the future.

           By and large, all these issues have become concerns, created uncertainty and deteriorated mutual trust in our cooperation as well as damaging sustainability of regional and global development. In this context, we must firmly uphold an inclusive and comprehensive approach to address all these challenges by building mutual trust and confidence, so as to ensure peace and sustainable human development in the region and the globe, and more importantly to unlock full potential of the world so as to become a truly prosperous one.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

           For Cambodia, a country that used to experience wars and destructions, peace is definitely priceless. So far every achievement, including the development and prosperity, that Cambodia has accomplished are the fruitful outcomes of peace. Along with that, RGC has vividly learnt that in order to further maintain peace, we must provide opportunities, arising from economic development, equally to every citizen as well as develop human resources into resources with inexhaustible potential. In this regard, since Cambodia achieved complete peace nationwide in 1998, Royal Government of Cambodia has always placed great importance on the development of human resource by regarding it as one of 4 main priorities.

On this basis, Royal Government of Cambodia has implemented in-depth reform in education sector with the aim of enhancing the quality and expanding the coverage of educational services so as to have productive human resources that can contribute to achieving Cambodia’s long-term vision. To that end, Royal Government of Cambodia has substantially increased budget for education sector. I would like to inform the summit that the budget for Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport increased more than threefold in 2018 comparing to the budget in 2013, while the total national budget increased only twofold.  This reflects the utmost priority that government has placed on education sector. The Royal Government of Cambodia will continue attaching high priority to education sector, and further increase budget for this sector. The spending of this budget is mainly for construction of school buildings, supporting school operations, improving quality of examination at all levels, strengthening quality of New Generation Schools, enhancing technical skills at the General and Technical High School as well as research on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and providing scholarships to poor students at all levels etc.

           In addition, the Royal Government of Cambodia has further improved and developed higher- education toward research and innovation in order to strengthen the competency and skill of Cambodia’s human resources, corresponding with the new context for development, especially enhancing entrepreneurship for the development of startups business model. In order to seize opportunities stemming from Fourth Industrial Revolution and Digital Economy, the Royal Government of Cambodia has also promoted the development of ecosystem to provide conducive environment for invention, innovation, research and development.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Based on these practical experiences, and as a leader of Cambodia who has personally gone through war and persistently sought peace for this small nation: the building and maintaining of peace is priceless; and peace is the foundation for socio-economic development as well as the strengthening of security and human development. Taking this opportunity, I would like to share my view so as to make contribution to enhancing peace, security and human development as follows:

           1st. Continuing to promote multilateral system and rule-based international orders  with the aim of further strengthening and broadening cooperation so as to fully secure peace, security, safety and stability, through promoting close dialogues, building trust as well as resolving regional challenges with peaceful means based on international laws.

           2nd. Promoting culture of interfaith dialogues in order to build mutual understanding, respect, trust and tolerance, as well as strictly adhering to the principle of non-interference with other countries’ internal affairs as meddling in others’ affairs would always bring about destruction and disasters to the development of the country.

           3rd. Enhancing cooperation to further promote globalization: ensure openness for cooperation mechanism and support the multilateral trade system, especially accelerate the connectivity between our societies and economies so as to promote the implementation of each country development agenda and achieve sustainable and inclusive development.

           4th. Fostering development through people-centric approach, especially for the development and strengthening of social protection system such as the enhancement of quality education, improvement of people well-beings, the reduction of poverty and narrowing of development gap in accordance with steady and rapid changes of socio-economic structure.

I firmly hope that this World Summit 2020 will promote vigorous discussions on the situations and challenges that the world is currently facing, especially on the issues related to peace and human development, as well as identify viable solutions that can contribute to building a peaceful world. Taking this opportunity, I would like to inform Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen that Cambodia will host the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) under the theme “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”, scheduled to take place in the upcoming November 2020, with the aim of building international consensus on the importance of multilateral framework in addressing global challenges.

Finally, I wish the World Summit General Assembly: Centenary General Assembly and International Summit Council for Peace great success with fruitful outcomes; and wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen good health, prosperity and success in all the endeavors.

Thanks to Peace! Peace for All – All for Peace!

Thank you!