Remarks by Samdech Techo Hun Sen Prime Minister at the Opening of the Interfaith Forum on Combating Human Trafficking and the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

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CNV:

  • Your Venerable Samdech Supreme Patriarch of Both Branches, Samdech Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs of Monks, and Venerable Monks;
  • Samdech Preah Boromneat NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and Samdech Preah Maha Ksatrei NORODOM MONINEATH SIHANOUK, Queen-Mother of Cambodia;
  • Samdech, Excellencies, Members of the Senate, the Parliament and the Government, Officials, Armed Forces, and Representatives of all Religious Branches;
  • Dear Compatriots!

Upon this great and glorious moment of the celebration of the Interfaith Forum under the theme of May the World Be Saved from Human Trafficking and the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC), I would like to extend my congratulation and highest appreciation of the spirit of solidarity and harmony of all races and religions in the Kingdom of Cambodia, especially the spirit of supporting the RGC in all circumstances, as well as the world for the well-being of humanity.

Every year since 2017, the Kingdom of Cambodia joyously celebrates every year the Interfaith Forum on Combating Human Trafficking. I have entrusted this task to Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and the Chairman of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT), to represent on behalf of the RGC, together with Venerable Samdech Supreme Patriarch of both branches, Venerable Buddhist Monks, leaders of all religious branches, excellencies, officials, international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil societies, and thousands of people from private sector to hold religious prayers and joint commitment to eliminate all forms of human trafficking.

Cambodia has suspended mass rallies since 2020 to implement the measures to prevent and address the community outbreak of COVID-19. In 2021, while the COVID-19 crisis continues to spread, human trafficking and trans-national crimes are being exploited by opportunists using all means to take advantages of this difficult situation. I understand that the Interfaith Forum must be organized in a new way to remind the people of all races and religions in the Kingdom of Cambodia, as well as the world, to change and adapt to the New Normal in the COVID-19 era, by upholding the spirit of humanitarian, compassion and care for the lives and the dignity of the people of all races and religions.

On behalf of the RGC, I am proud of the harmony of all religions in the Kingdom of Cambodia, which is maintained through active cooperation, especially the persistent practice of the culture of perpetual sharing, with the spirit of high responsibility in difficult times.

  • Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
  • Dear compatriots!

At the present, the government leaders and officials at all levels have been trying to overcome all obstacles to solve major issues in the society, especially the prevention of the global pandemic by any mean available, and have achieved a series of remarkable results to bring our nation and citizens back to the normal situation.

At the same time, the RGC has been actively implementing measures, on the one hand, to maintain security, order and social stability in order to sustain the livelihood of the citizens and maintain macroeconomic stability, and on the other hand, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from prevention and treatment to rehabilitation of the victims and the affected communities. Therefore, the placement of people or returnees from high-risk areas under quarantine, or the lockdown of areas with high infection rates or high currents of infection, or the suspension of illegal border crossings in the time of tightening security measures does not equate to the violation of rights and freedom or discrimination, as accused by a group of unscrupulous people who have a tendency to oppose without reservation and have been propagandizing to demoralize the citizens. Instead, these practices are effective measures to protect the rights to live and to be protected from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, as the vaccination campaign for our citizens is close to be achieved as planned, the RGC is committed to achieving the goal of vaccinating children-youths aged 12 to under 18 by the end of 2021, to build herd immunity and reduce community transmission, in order to bring our people’s lives back to normal and restore our economy and society.

On behalf of the RGC, I would like express my sincere appreciation for the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance—that make the vaccination program faster than expected—of our friendly countries that provide timely vaccines, especially the People Republic of China which is the leading country in providing vaccines in terms of both humanitarian donations and direct orders, as well as Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. I would like to thank the United Nations in Cambodia, especially the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), international development partners and representatives from other countries around the world, as well as foreign and local investors who have always been standing and cooperating with Cambodia during this difficult circumstance. I would also like to thank the management and officials of all ministries/institutions/units, civil medical workers, national defense forces, police forces, volunteer medical workers, competent authorities in all departments and frontline officials in provinces along the borders, staffs at the quarantine centers, community clinics as well as NGOs, religious branches, private sectors and benefactors, who have sacrificed physical and mental strength and material and financial resources to support the government in solving all matters and at all stages. I would like to thank the NCCT, religious leaders, Caritas Cambodia and International, and partner organizations for supporting the National Interfaith Forum on Combating Human Trafficking and the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. My dear compatriots, please continue to maintain and implement the principles of prevention and the “3 Dos and 3 Don’ts” health measure with strict adherence, do not be negligent, and must go to get the vaccines against COVID-19 which the government provides for free to everyone, in order to build immunity against this deadly pandemic.

Finally, I would like to bow in gratitude and wish upon His Majesty Samdech Preah NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Her Majesty Queen-Mother may your majesties be blessed with great health, strength and wisdom to be the shelter for all of your children, the people of Cambodia; may Venerable Samdech Supreme Patriarch of both branches and all Venerable Buddhist Monks be blessed with longevity and vigorous health to lead our nation’s religion to glory forever; and may Samdech, Excellencies, Oknhas, heads of ministries/institutions, ladies and gentlemen, doctors, all forces and authorities of all levels, all religious practitioners and leaders, international communities, civil societies, journalists and dear compatriots be blessed with good health, be protected from the deadly COVID-19 Pandemic, and be blessed with the five Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health, Strength and Wisdom.

I would like to bow in gratitude and now declare the opening of the prayer ceremony and may the holy blessings of Lord Buddha, Allah, Jesus Christ and Gods of all religions as well as all the sacred objects in the world Bless the World to Be Saved from Human Trafficking and the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and all other disasters that are about to happen; let them be alleviated and gradually disappear from now on.

(The sound of drums and bells will be beating and ringing, followed by prayer ceremony of each religion)