Selected Special​ Message of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, on Closing the November-28 Community Outbreak Event; 22nd Anniversary of Win-win Policy; and Extraction of Cambodian First Drop of Crude Oil [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

My worship to holly Buddhist monks, nuns, dear compatriots. Today, I have some issues that I would like to address to you. As a start, I would like to take this opportunity to announce the end of the November-28 (Covid-19 community outbreak) event, which is also falling on today, the 22nd anniversary of the end of the war that brings Cambodia peace, complete national unity. I would like to tell you why we are closing (the November 28 event), which on the 15th (December) I anticipated (the Covid-19 search, quarantine and treatment operation) would reach early or mid-January. There are three main reasons why we can end November-28 event.

First, No Covid-19 Infection in 14 days

The first reason is that we were able to control the situation of the November-28 community (outbreak) event. We have not found the Covid-19 infected persons in 14 days. So far, out of 41 people (found to be infected in the event), we have cured 37 of them. Only three are left. Apart from that, there are only eight people left to take the sample as of yesterday. Therefore, we have no further cases of suspicion. This is one of the reasons. After the situation came under control, we had reserved the period from November 15 until now to search everywhere (for infected persons). We find no more […]

Second, No Workers from Thailand since December 20 Bring Disease

As for the second reason, managing returned workers from Thailand from the 20th December until now, as the disease has been spreading in Thailand, we have not found one who came in with the disease. It is a good thing that the Royal Government of Thailand and the Thai authorities have acted at a rapid pace that they can control the situation. In addition, our provincial authorities are working urgently through the guidance of the Royal Government and the Ministry of Health to provide all possible facilitation for the border provinces. Our armed forces are also there to transport workers so they do not have to travel by car or by taxi on their own as that clould have carried the virus to other places.

Thank Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, Government and Thai authorities

Measures taken on the Thai since by the Royal Government and the Thai authorities, and by those that we have tried ourselves, have led to effective prevention of pandemic coming from the Kingdom of Thailand to Cambodia. I would take this opportunity to thank His Excellency Prayuth Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Thailand, as well as the Royal Government of Thailand and the Thai authorities for their care for Cambodian workers. That is a good point in the neighborly relations that there is no discrimination against Cambodian workers. According to the information, those who are in Thailand without works and/or legally (or) illegally entered Thailand, the Thai authorities issued them temporary cards. This is also part of the joint solution to the Covid-19 cases and the employment of Cambodian workers. It is partly for the growth of the Thai economy and also partly for the income of Cambodian workers […]

Cambodian Workers in Thailand Stay Put in Thailand

Taking this opportunity, I am appealing to Cambodians working in Thailand to continue living in Thailand, rather than moving from one place to another. We received information at a factory where there were illegal (Cambodian) workers, out of fear, the factory owner brought some of the Cambodian workers to a Buddhist monastery. This is not a good thing. Thai authorities have already eased the issue. I received a letter from His Excellency Prayuth Chan-o-cha requesting that Cambodians be prevented from entering Thailand while Thailand is fighting the disease. I have the appeal already from the first day of the eruption in Thailand […]

Third, Monitoring Incoming Patients by Air

The third reason is that we only have to manage patients (coming in) by air on a day to day basis. For example, on December 27, there was a positive case of an Indonesian who came from Singapore. We expect further imported cases, but we have no better option. We cannot close Cambodia, even those from Britain where there has a new Covid-19 variant. The key here on our part is to manage it properly and to do the right thing. Some have already closed their countries for flights from the UK. We do not declare closing anything because there are no British planes flying directly to Cambodia and we do not need to block British people from entering Cambodia. So when it comes to managing imported cases, every day, there are always hundreds to almost a thousand people, including our Cambodian brothers and sisters who live in and come from the United States, France, Korea, Japan, etc., flying into Cambodia.

Three Battles Fighting

From the beginning, we have been fighting on three battles. Previously we only looked at two battles, but through the event of November 28, we experienced three battles. The first battle is imported cases (of Covid-19) … This battle is easy to control as we have strengthened process of quarantine … The second battle is the community outbreak that we have just came across on November 28. It has now been one month from the date of the specific measures that I issued on the 30th December at Siem Reap … The third battle is providing treatment. If we look at the figures sent by the Minister of Health, Mam Bunheng, the number of infected people in Cambodia is 364. Out of this number, 360 have been cured, leaving only 4, including one Indonesian and three Cambodian infected in the community outbreak. No one has died of Covid-19 as of now.

I do not understand why some people (said/thought of) bringing that Covid-19 to spread on (members) of the People’s Party in the country to die. Do they not understand that among the people in Cambodia, where there are close to 20, 30, 40 political parties (and doing so would) infect their brothers and sisters themselves? It is unthinkable that such people could still exist in this modern age and they consider themselves patriots … Although today we close the November-28 event that does not mean that Covid-19 is over. Covid-19 is still infecting in the world. Previously ranked No. 1 in Asia, No. 3 in the world, Cambodia is now considered the number one in the world (in dealing with Covid-19). I looked at it. Second place goes to South Sudan and third place goes to Brunei.

Covid-19 Not the Last Disease/Virus

No matter what the ranking would be, let us not rejoice, because the problem of Covid-19 is not over yet. Just a little negligence, it would happen. (In Thailand), His Excellency Prayuth Chan-o-cha who did a very good job handling the pandemic in April, may now have a headache, as 144 more people were infected yesterday. So just one whip the infected number increases over a thousand and we do not know how many more would be. So is in the case of Cambodia. It happened in an instant from no community transmission to having one […]

We only announce the closure of the (November-28) event, but that does not mean the closure of all Covid-19 cases. We can say it is over only when Covid-19 is no more in the world. No one would know when it would be over. According to the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Covid-19 is neither the last disease nor the last virus. Diseases will continue to occur. In fact, in recent years there have been cases of SARS, swine flu, chicken pox, African swine fever and others. What will happen after Covid-19? There are now Covid-19 variant cases in Britain and South Africa. That is why we must take continuous managing and preventive measures.

Recruiting 3,000 Medical Persons for 2021

The other day, I hinted about increasing the number of medical persons. I called His Excellency Mam Bunheng to ask how many would do. Initially, HE Mam Bunheng said 5,000 of them needed. For 2021, we will add an initial 3,000 medical persons to increase the capacity and the deployment of our medical team. In case of more demand, I have already discussed with Deputy Prime Minister, HE Aun Pornmoniroth, we are always prepared to respond to the increasing workload of our medical team. To fight the disease, there has to be a medical team, just like in a military battle, there has to be a soldier. Therefore, let us confirm that we allow (the Ministry of Health) the recruitment of 3,000 medical experts/persons for 2021 … However, those recruited must dare to fight Covid-19. This is a requirement […]

Continued Measures

Now I would like to mention some measuresThe first measure, I said it on the December 15 already, is to apply the self-protection in three ways – wearing a mask, washing hands and keeping a safety distance of one and a half meters. In addition, those who have to stay in quarantine must also be strictly abide by the rules and must not avoid or run away from the quarantine locations […].

The second measure is to apply the three “Don’ts” – (1) Do not go to places where there are crowded gatherings; (2) Do not go to places that are closed, no ventilation, use only air conditioning too much; and (3) Do not be too close to one another, do not hug each other and so on […]

The third measure is relating to the reopening of schools … Now we have to think and I also wrote on the request of HE Hang Chuon Naron yesterday to take January 11 as the opening day of the 2020-21 school year, and the Ministry has taken measures to organize it according to the new normal practices, applied in education […]

PM Responsible for Allowing Students to Pass Automatically

… I would take this opportunity to inform the grandchildren and their parents and/or guardians. Some extremist groups have accused me of damaging the education system (for allowing students at the junior and senior secondary school to pass automatically without taking exams). I cannot leave nieces/nephews and grandchildren in awkward and uncertain positions (because of impacts on their studies from Covid-19) without knowing what will happen to them. I am taking full responsibility as the Prime Minister of the country. What else can we do when students cannot come to the exams in this case? […]

This (school) year has been a special case that it is required that all the students to pass and be able to enroll in higher education at this/that college or get a Baccalaureate in order to get a job here and there. May the grandchildren remember faces of those who came out against this decision that I am taking. I am taking this as my responsibility, but I made the decision for the sake of tens of thousands of grandchildren, as many as 130,000, plus their parents and grandparents … the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports led by HE Hang Chuon Naron did a good job on this.

There is this issue with a foreign newspapers article. How could s/he know better than I could as far as state administration and/or management? S/he wrote that the Prime Minister made the decision that shifted the blame to the Minister of Education, while no matter what the Minister of Education had had to ask for opinion of the Prime Minister. It was in that sense that I decided so to alleviate the difficulties for the Minister of Education … I am saying it again that the things that you are better than me is the fact that you were born in a rich country. However, it is not sure that your brain level is better than mine … (in pursuing the) right to express your opinion, does not mean you can just write (anything about anyone). You have the right to express yourself. I also have the right to express myself […]

The third measure is relating to the reopening of schools, and what needed to prepare for this work? I am sure the Minister of Education, HE Hang Chuon Naron, already has his hands on this … should more money be required to equip schools with thermometers, alcohol, gel, etc., (the Ministry can take them from the Royal Government stock). The Ministry of Economy and Finance may increase the budget for the Ministry of Education to add alcohol, hand sanitizer or gel or soap for schools […]

Online Meeting/VDO Conferencing

The forth measure is to avoid organizing unnecessary meetings or hold the meeting online instead. For example, state institutions and provincial halls have their online/video conferencing facilities. Well, the Minister does not need to invite the provincial governors or line offices to come for a meeting in Phnom Penh. Just get on to VDO conference as we do for the Cabinet meeting … the standard social distancing must be set at one and a half meters or more. It is important to note the number of participants, phone number, address or email for contact if necessary and apply the three protective measures –wearing masks, washing hands, and keep social distancing in the meeting […]

The fifth measure – owners of restaurants, cafes or entertainment venues need to be responsible in ensuring that their premises are not the source of the transmission or outbreak of Covid-19 by jointly implementing public health measures … the authorities have enough resources to deal with this. If they do not listen, you should just close them down. If they agree to the rules, let them open … I think those shops really do not want pandemic or transmission to take place there. To be honest, no one wants to get sick. Some people said that Mr. Chhem Savuth caused (infection) trouble and should ask him to retire. I replied that Mr. Chhem Savuth and his family were victims of Covid-19 […]

The sixth measure is if strangers come to stay in villages, communes, local authorities need to ask in case they do not go through quarantines or come from somewhere we do not know and arrange them the quarantines. Let me reaffirm that the practice of quarantine applies only for those from abroad, there is no (need to do so for) local tourists. For instance, if one goes from Phnom Penh to Kep, or Kep to Mundulkiri, quarantine does not apply. Please do not be confused. Quarantine applies only on those who are coming from abroad. Now, most of the people coming from abroad by plane, the city hall and the Ministry of Health are already in charge of that […]

Cambodia’s First Oil Drop on 29 December 2020

I have a need to share with you all the good news and maybe some of you have already learned through my Facebook page. The first news breaking was by Fresh News, followed by television broadcasts about “The first drop of oil has begun in the Kingdom of Cambodia.” The date coincides with the 22nd anniversary of the end of the war in Cambodia. This is a source of pride for Cambodia as we are a small country. Taking this opportunity, I would talk a little bit about the oil problem in Block A, where they set their extraction to today, but the oil was already out since yesterday.

Today we announce the first drop of oil in this miserable land. Coincidentally, I chose this day to mark the day that Cambodia ended the war, brought peace and national unity for the first time to Cambodia’s long history … If there were no end to the war, how could there be peace. If there is no peace, there will be no first oil drop event on December 29, 2020. Today, as the founder and leading implementer of the win-win policy, I am very proud with all the compatriots who participated in the process to end the war in Cambodia.

We do not rule out the role of the Paris Peace Accords, which began with the Fere-en-Tardenois negotiations between His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk and me, popularly known as the 1987 Fere-en-Tardenois Sihanouk-Hun Sen Forum. It was clear that without the Sihanouk-Hun Sen Forum, there would be no Paris Agreement of October 23, 1991, because no one would negotiate. No one initiated the idea. The two characters played a role. If Cambodians do not get along, how can foreigners help? […]

We recognize that Paris Agreement is an achievement born out of efforts by the Cambodian sides and the foreign friends. However, let us not forget that after spending more than 2,000 million USD, UNTAC left Cambodia as a country with two territories and two governments, two armed forces fighting each other from 1993 through to 1998 (literally speaking) five years more. We can no longer continue to fight each other like this. The only way is for me to trade my life for peace […]

My mother and grandaunt said to me “are you not afraid of being killed (that you are going to their side?)” I replied to my mother and grandaunt, “Mother! Grandaunt! When I go, if I were to die, only a few people and I die, but if I survive, I will come back with the whole country.” Starting in 1996 in the Oral region under (General) Keo Pong, win-win policy continued to expand into Malai to Pailin and on. I had to be present in those areas – Pailin, Samlot, Kamrieng, Phnom Prek, Sampov Loun, Malai. At that time, if (General) Sok Pheap or Y Chhien shot, I died. These brothers did not shoot and I consider them operators of win-win policy as well […]

“Chan Yet” Must Stay Away

There has been peace since then, and that peace factor led to the creation of recent achievements, including today’s first drop of oil in our land of Angkor. Speaking of that, I would like to send a message to the villagers of Chungruk (who) are sitting and listening. I send a message to Mr. Chan Yet, president of a political party, formerly in the Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendations, but removed from office due to destructive activities and corruption, to withdraw quickly (from what he has created/involved). After being removed from office, Chan Yet cheated a lot. I have enough documents to arrest Chan Yet. However, yesterday I did not allow an arrest. Chan Yet had to withdraw.

Chan Yet went to deceive people that removed (from the position of) senior minister (he has) now got another shot to work directly with the Prime Minister. With this, Chan Yet fooled people and collected fund for this or that and/or about this or that. The 300 hectares of land has been prepared and ready for people to pick their plots. Schools, roads are under construction, digging wells, etc. I will help develop further as the conflict dragged in this area for 20 years. Mr. Chan Yet, if you do not want to be imprisoned, stay away. Chan Yet cheated the people in the Chungruk village […]

Oil – Sit and Wait for 30 Years

This case about oil, allows me to confirm. We had to sit and wait for 30 years. Let me detail to you about the Royal Government’s efforts with other relevant actors. In 1990, we auctioned off Block A oil well. UK’s Enterprise Oil won the bid. The Paris Agreement signed later required to cancel all agreements that were inconsistent with Cambodia’s independence and sovereignty. At the 1992 Tokyo Meeting on Aid to Cambodia, Khieu Samphan demanded the cancellation of all agreements with the (puppet) government.

At that time, the British ambassador went to see me, and asked me what I think. I told him they could cancel the agreement if they wished to. I told him that do not forget that a UK company, Enterprise Oil, won the bidding for Cambodia’s oil block. In 1994, I traveled with Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh (then first Prime Minister) to Block A. Enterprise Oil was drilling, but Enterprise Oil could not find it. Enterprise Oil left. Then came Chevron of the United States, along with other companies, and Chevron discovered a treasure trove under Enterprise Oil […]

We Can Live While No Money Earned from Oil

I would also like to emphasize this. Twenty years ago, in 1999 and 2000, the IMF, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and even the UNDP came to talk to me only about how to spend money (from oil). They even organized a seminar on this topic “Is oil a blessing or a curse?” … they came to see me at my house in Takhmao (Kandal provincial town). I pointed out to them (and sought their understanding saying) that they should not worry about the menu while the fish is still in the water to catch. During the meeting at Wat Phnom, I said while we did not even have oil and you were worried about us spending money from it. They told us about Nigeria, an oil-rich country but was poor due to corruption in spending. I stressed the point that how can one talk about spending money, while the money from oil is nowhere yet. Now I can answer your question. However, while no money earned from oil, we can live. I do not brag. Today I show you the figures clearly […]

Growth Negative, Exports Good

Some say that the Hun Sen government was about to run out of money and had to raise money to pay salaries. I would confirm that as of 5 o’clock yesterday, the cash in the treasury is … equal to about 3,000 million (dollars). We have not used it. As of December 25, Cambodia’s official reserves are more than 20 billion, including 44.4 tons of gold […]. Let us talk a little bit about the economy … although the Cambodian economic (growth) is negative, this year’s exports have been very good for us. The two-way trade volume is about 32 billion, but separately for Cambodia, exports are close to 16 billion. Although the economy hit by Covid-19, exports are good … and it opens up people’s eyes that the Hun Sen government has enough experts […]

I Will Not Stop, If You Want Me to

Do not think of overthrowing the Hun Sen Government. The more you swear to do it, the easier we are to live. We continue to expand the market. Now the Comprehensive Partnership Agreement RCEP has been signed and it extends to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China as a whole. We have a free trade agreement with China. In the future, we sign with Korea and make an agreement with the Eurasian Union. That said, I think I will be in power until I am 78 years old, so I will wait another 10 years to see how they can defeat Hun Sen … I am determined to (stand for election) until 2028. When I get to the age of 76, and transfer in two years, there is nothing wrong. The more you talk, the more I explore. Hun Sen is different from others. If you want me to stop, I will not stop. If you want me not to stop, I will stop […] A few days ago, (they talked about) overthrowing. Now they wanted negotiation. There will be no negotiations with anyone. They must negotiate with the law. Anyone who has to go to jail, s/he must first do so and we will talk later. I hope our foreign friends (understand that) I have no political problems with anyone. I have no conflict with anyone. They are in conflict with the law […]

Oil Money Priority on Education/Health, Deposit First Oil at Win-Win Monument

I come back to the oil thing again. They raised this oil money 20 years ago. After I blamed the move, they went silent. I say do not determine which fish should be grilled, which fish should be boiled and fried while no fish caught. Now that we have caught the fish, they can ask the question – if you get the money, on what do you spend? I will tell you that I will give priority to education and health, let’s be clear […]. This oil story, I have seen in the media comments that block (A) is related to Thailand. I would like to confirm that this block A has nothing to do with Thailand. It is only 160 kilometers from Sihanoukville, but 335 kilometers from Pattaya and 350 kilometers from in Songkhla.

Well, this is not a curse, but a blessing for the Cambodian people in the new phase, as it is a new source of income. In the future, we will have a source of income from oil, we will have a source of income from our gold mines that will be ready to do big business, and we will have a source of income from our coal. We will not need to bring it from outside. We put the machine in Oddar Meanchey. Now we are importing coal from outside. We continue to import, but at least we produce 400 megawatts using our own coal. Our natural resources have not yet been exploited.

This morning, I posted the news at 7am and I am making comment now. As you can see the peace factor brings development, including today’s new achievements (which is) the first drop of oil. Please confirm to Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh, an important leader, second leading actor after Hun Sen in this win-win political operation, to take a drop of oil from His Excellency Suy Sem and keep it at the Victory Monument. It was because of the win-win policy that we now have gotten oil. Let us take that drop and keep it there […]

Cash Support for Garment/Tourism Workers and for Poor Households Continue

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a little more on issues related to the seventh round of measures to help resolve (living hardships because of Covid-19). In the seventh round of measures, as the Ministry of Economy and Finance has already announced, will implement for the next three months in many sectors ranging from aviation, manufacturing, enterprises, withholding tax, supporting growth for loans related to banking. Let me recall two important points.

The first is the three-month cash subsidy for workers in the field of garments, textiles (sewing), shoes, travel products, and bags is to continue for another three months. The Royal Government must provide USD 40/person to those who have lost their jobs (while) factory owners must provide USD 30. In total, the workers in the textile (sewing), footwear, travel products and bags receive a subsidy sum of USD 70/person. For tourism, which includes those working in hotels, guesthouses, restaurants (and) travel agents, workers get USD 40/person for another three months too from January to March. These enterprises also have to make voluntary efforts to help provide for those who have lost their jobs.

Implementation of program related to the provision of cash for the poor and vulnerable continues for another 3 months from January to March. As of yesterday, after we implemented six months already, we have used 796 million (Riel) budget. Today/ tomorrow (the budget of) 800 billion (Riel) or 200 million US dollars will be spent. I hope the figures will help some people understand clearly and think again about their insults on this (royal) government […]

Ready to Offer Some Medical Gears/Equipment to Nepal

Some insults us when we provide some medical protective gears to Laos, Myanmar and Timor-Leste to think of others while neglecting help to own people. We have provided assistance in flesh and life by sending troops to help foreign countries (under the UN peacekeeping program) … seeing that too many Nepalese infected (with Covid-19), I am writing a letter to the Prime Minister of Nepal and prepared to send aid to Nepal. Cambodia (has its own way of) providing assistance. We will bring what we can help to the recipients. We are poor. We cannot go to help the rich. We first help the poor as we are. Laos is as difficult as we are. We can help them with anything we can. Myanmar is in difficulty as we are. Timor-Leste is in difficulty we are. Now Nepal is having difficulty too. We help them with anything we can.

Other Social Programs Continue

In terms of social assistance, we continue other social programs, such as pregnant women continue to receive cash assistance until the child ages two years old. As of this moment, we have spent 10 million USD already … Once born, immediately (the social program) donated USD 100. It is better than nil. (With USD 100, they can) buy pork (to cook food to increase breast) milk. Revenue had gone below 400 million USD/ month for just a few months because of flash flood. For November and December, it has bounced back to exceed 400 million USD. It is in this note that the revenue volume has reached over 5,000 million USD […]

Charitable Donation for Vaccines Reached 55 Million USD

Cambodia strives to fight this deadly (Covid-19) disease, while helping itself and its friends. Now, in relation to the vaccine issue, as of 2pm yesterday, we have received 53,679,714 US dollars and 9,935,480,500 riels, or over 55 million in US dollars. I did not raise money. This is a generous donation from our people, including His Majesty the King and the Queen Mother, Samdech, Excellency, Lok Chumteav, Okhna, workers, farmers, students from all walks of life. This is a strong national movement that I call it the people’s health protection foundation after we have this people’s national defense foundation. No matter what anyone says, that is the ability that Hun Sen has. If they do not see Hun Sen is that transparent, they will not join/contribute.

Vaccines for Free and on Voluntary Basis

I would take this opportunity to thank you HM the King and the Queen Mother for the contributions they made for the (purchase) of the vaccines. Thank you to all the Buddhist monks, people and armed forces for their contributions. This is a great way to achieve merit because it saves lives. The principle here is for our people to have vaccination free and on voluntary basis. If you do not trust, do not get the injection and continue to use the mask (and) alcohol. Even if there is a vaccine, we must continue using mask, observing social gap. Do not take risks. It is not sure how effective the vaccine is. What does it prevent, and how effective is it, and for how long – months/years or for life? No one can say.

As I informed you before, we have been in the process of accepting 20% ​​of vaccine from COVAX for 3,200,000 people. In addition, we ordered an additional one million doses through COVAX. There are three gateways to the vaccines – the first is through COVAX, which has 92 member countries. Their contribution will be for 20% of the population or in the case of Cambodia equals to 3,200,000, for which we have to contribute 5% (of the cost). To achieve herd immunity, we will need to inject 80% or more of the population. If so, we need to inject around 12,800,000, or we say 13 million.

We need to buy more. In addition to through COVAX, we will discuss with bilateral and multilateral partners to find grants and supply of vaccines at affordable prices. We can work with countries to ask for their help or buy from them at a low price. That would be the second port. For the third port, we negotiate directly with the vaccine company.

To Purchase WHO Recognized Vaccines

That is a huge amount (of vaccines), but absolutely must do it because we cannot leave our people unprotected. The problem is that in the world, both Chinese and American vaccines, as well as British vaccines, used every day, have not yet had recognition from the World Health Organization. We are still waiting for recognition.

Some commented that Hun Sen did not mention the Chinese vaccine, or rejecting the Chinese vaccine even. I did not reject it. I have not talked about any specific vaccines to purchase yet. What I am saying is enough. Do not start commenting Mr. Hun Sen did not mention about the Chinese vaccines maybe he rejects China’s role in providing vaccines, despite the promise made by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the ASEAN-China summit.

If the World Health Organization recognizes the Chinese vaccine, we buy it from China. It is also easy to transport. If WHO recognized the vaccines by Russia, we also buy it from Russia. If WHO recognized the UK vaccines, we buy it from Britain. If WHO recognized the United States vaccines, and if the US government does not help us, we will negotiate with the US companies. Whoever has the recognition of the World Health Organization, we accept it because it is a requirement for our people […]./.