Samdech Vibolsena Pheakdei SAY CHHUM, President of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia;
Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrel HENG SAMRIN, President of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia;
Excellencies Presidents, Vice Presidents and Members of the Parliaments;
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Today, I am pleased to take part in the opening of the 43rd General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all delegates, for spending the invaluable time, to physically attend this historic event in Phnom Penh City. As the rotating Chair of ASEAN in 2022, Cambodia is honored to host the 43rd General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in conjunction with the celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the Establishment of ASEAN.
Over the past three-year, we have been very satisfied with the concerted efforts of ASEAN working together as a unity to effectively to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the spirit of mutual understanding and assistance, particularly achieving great success in the fight against the pandemic, until we could reopen of our countries and restore of our respective economies.
However, the world continues confronting with many challenges, including geo-political rivalries, war, trade and economic polarization, climate change and natural disasters, which have not severely threatened the lives of people, but also dampened global economic recovery, including causing increasing inflationary pressures, supply chains disruption, and food and energy insecurity, etc. In this context, the theme of the 43rd General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) is relevant and appropriate, which will contribute to inspiring a sense of shared responsibility to respond to regional and global development in a timely manner as well as accelerating ASEAN socio-economic recovery toward common prosperity.
- Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
ASEAN has come a long way and is globally recognized as a core community of regional architecture. As the rotating chair of ASEAN in 2022 under the theme “ASEAN A.C.T: Addressing Challenges Together”, Cambodia is indeed proud to have navigated ASEAN in addressing difficult challenges facing our region and making significant achievements to expedite the building process of ASEAN Community in accordance with ASEAN’s core spirit of: “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
In fact, with the commitment as the ASEAN’s Chair and the support from ASEAN member states, Cambodia has proudly achieved success in hosting the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits, with the adoption of numerous key documents and initiatives, aimed at promoting sustainable, inclusive, and resilient ASEAN, including: (1). ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together”, (2). ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN Connectivity Post-2025 Agenda, (3). ASEAN Declaration on Building More Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient Future: Unlocking Women’s Entrepreneurship in ASEAN, and (4). Declaration on the Digital Transformation of Education Systems in ASEAN, etc.
Regarding sustainability, inclusiveness and resilience, ASEAN has been placing its priority on human resource development, education reform and vocational training to keep pace with digital transformation and enhance the role of women and youth to increase economic productivity and stimulate economic growth in the post COVID-19 era. On climate change issue, Cambodia has also proposed the formulation of “ASEAN Green Deal Initiative” at the recent ASEAN Summits, to re-orient regional development toward ASEAN’s sustainable green future.
ASEAN is also scaling up concerted efforts to implement agreed action plans and initiatives to derive maximum benefits from the opportunities arising from global trends, including digitalization, circular economy, green economy, development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs), and especially the effective implementation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as well as other ASEAN Free Trade Agreements. All of these will be the key driving force in promoting connectivity in all areas as well as in working together to effectively respond to any challenges.
On political and security aspect, Cambodia has continued attaching the priority to strengthening ASEAN Centrality and Unity as well as adhering to multilateralism, which is a key regional mechanism for contributing to reducing the geo-political tensions and the confrontation between the superpowers, especially by continuing to promote dialogues with partners through various forums. Although regional security issues have not yet been fully addressed, I believe that the positive outcomes of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits have made significant contribution to setting the common positions, that provide inputs to the finding of the solutions toward ensuring regional security, stability, and development.
These achievements and the setting of these clear directions are once again the testimony to the unwavering political will of ASEAN in continuing to intensify regional integration and adaptation to the new normal, aimed at building the future of ASEAN with unity, inclusiveness, and resilience as well as to demonstrate ASEAN’s commitment to strengthening relations with partners based on the principles of trust and mutual respect for regional and global peace and prosperity.
- Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Taking this opportunity, I would also like to congratulate the success of the recent APEC Summit hosted by Thailand and G20 Summit hosted by Indonesia; and I firmly believe that the success of the ASEAN, APEC and G20 Summits, hosted by ASEAN member states this year, will make significant contribution to enhancing ASEAN’s prestige and centrality in addressing common regional and global challenges.
In the current context in which the world is facing many complex challenges, I would like to emphasize that Parliaments, especially the National Assemblies, indeed have a crucial and an indispensable role in contributing to resolving regional and global issues. In this spirit, I am of the view that the celebration of the 43rd General Assembly of ASEAN Inter- Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) provides a rare opportunity for Samdech, Excellencies AIPA delegates to join the discussion on a wide range of topics with the common objective of strengthening our cooperation into a unity and identifying policy recommendations, especially a joint position for the interests of our peoples.
Finally, I would like to wish the 43rd General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly success, and wish Samdech, success, and Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen good health and success in all your endeavors, especially the comfortable and pleasant stay in the Kingdom of Cambodia.