Statement of Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei Hun Manet, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

CMF:

  • His Excellency Dennis Francis, President of the United Nations General Assembly,
  • His Excellency Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
  • His Excellencies, Lok Jumteav, Ladies and Gentlemen!

To begin, I would like to congratulate His Excellency Dennis Francis on his election as President of the Seventy-Eighth Session of the UN General Assembly. Our debate is timely and very relevant to the current global context “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all”.

It is my great pleasure to address this esteemed gathering today as the new Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia. I am committed to working closely with all Member States under this august body of the United Nations to realize our shared aspirations.

  • Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates

I share the prevailing concern over the growing global instability and geopolitical tensions we all witness at present. The escalation of the war in Ukraine and its grave consequences reflect a significant erosion of 1 trust among Member States and lack of confidence in multilateralism. The competition between super and major powers has diverted available resources to expand security capabilities amid widening gaps in funding to address the lingering effect of COVID-19 and achieve the SDG 2030 Agenda. Climate change is meanwhile threatening the existence of humanity. Without our bold and urgent action, the world will see further increases in poverty, hunger, and risks of pandemic. And more entrenched cycles of instability and conflict.

It is now high time to restore the strategic security trust among all nations and trust in the rules-based global system – in which all states fully respect international laws and norms, and principles enshrined in the UN Charter. We should strengthen and leverage the convening power of the UN system to help reignite global solidarity to build a safer and more prosperous world for all. First and foremost, we must more strongly emphasize addressing development issues and preventing existing conflicts from widening.

In this regard, Cambodia highly appreciates the UN Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace with its ambitious recommendations for global stability and his vision for the future of global cooperation as outlined in his report “Our Common Agenda”. We strongly support his SDG and climate initiatives. I’m confident that his call for an SDG Stimulus – to invest 500 billion dollars a year on sustainable development and climate action between now and 2030 – will put progress on SDG implementation back on track. The “Climate Solidarity Pact” he proposed will lead to a reduction of emissions in line with the principle of responsibilities. common but differentiated

  • Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates

With enduring peace and stability, Cambodia continues to make notable progress on every front. Over the past two decades, poverty fell steadily, at an average annual rate of 1.6 percent. And our economy grew by more than 7 percent a year until COVID-19 broke out. We were hailed as one of the most successful countries in controlling the pandemic and recovering from its impact. Economic growth returned to 5.2 percent in 2022 and is expected to continue growing at 5.6 percent in 2023.

As highlighted in our Second Voluntary National Review in July, 72.5 percent of Cambodia’s SDG indicators and sub-indicators are well on track. The country is steadily transitioning from Least Developed to Developing Country status in 2027. This is thanks to sound government policies and our ability to maintain peace, political stability, high economic growth, equitable distribution of benefits from growth and forging good cooperation with all stakeholders.

Our democratic-building process steadily advanced. In July of this year, has Cambodia successfully held general elections, with 18 political parties contesting. Over 8.2 million people casted their ballots a turnout rate of 84.59 percent. This is the highest since UN-supervised elections in 1993 and a clear indication of our people’s greater political maturity and enthusiasm in exercising their democratic rights.​​ The election has been widely assessed as free and fair, credible, and just, by thousands of observers, including 333 from abroad representing 65 countries.

  • Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates

Like many developing countries, Cambodia has a lot more to do to reach our goal of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a resilient, vibrant and prosperous high-income country by 2050. To this end – and in line with the Secretary General’s call for Member States to deliver a “Rescue Plan for People and Planet” my government is committed to taking transformative actions through our recently launched Pentagonal Strategy for Cambodia’s socio-economic development over the next 25 years.

The Pentagonal Strategy is being implemented from Phase I in the five areas of growth, employment, equity, efficiency, and sustainability. The five key priorities are people, roads, water, electricity and technology especially digital technology to address the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the digital transformation of Cambodia’s economy. I would like to add that the main objectives of this strategy include – on the one hand, maintaining the good momentum of peace, economic growth and development in general. On the other hand, building and strengthening the foundations to accelerate national development through resilience in five areas the public sector, the economy, the financial sector, human and social capital, and the environment including climate change response.

For the success of the Pentagonal Strategy, Cambodia will accelerate its governance reforms to ensure that our public administration runs efficiently with a high-level of integrity. We will safeguard peace, political stability, security and social order and maintain macro-economic stability. To this end, Cambodia will further enhance partnerships and cooperation for development and keep welcoming the support of all friendly partners, both technical and financial, to help Cambodia achieve its SDGs while continuing to deepen its regional and global integration.

Cambodia will continue on its present path of independent and neutral foreign policy based on the rule of law, equal mutual respect and adherence to the principles of the UN Charter to promote its national interests, strengthen existing friendships and build more amicable ties. Cambodia remains resolute against the threat or use of force in international relations, interference in the internal affairs of and aggression against other independent nations. CAMBODIA SHALL NOT AUTHORIZE ANY FOREIGN MILITARY BASE ON ITS TERRITORY, AS CLEARLY STATED IN ITS CONSTITUTION. CAMBODIA WILL NOT ALLOW ANY COUNTRY NOR ANY GROUP TO USE ITS TERRITORY AGAINST ANOTHER COUNTRY. Cambodia will further endeavor to strengthen and expand good cooperation with nations around the world through bilateral, regional and international frameworks to contribute to global peace, security, stability, sustainable development and prosperity shared by all.

  • Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates

In addition to the SDGs under the global framework, Cambodia has added its own specific goal related to mine action namely, a “Mine- Free Cambodia by 2025”. In this effort, we call for continued financial and technical support. We also urge greater participation by the international community to raise awareness of the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance, the “hidden killers” that threaten human security even after armed conflicts end.

Cambodia welcomes the “Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions” initiated by His Excellency António Guterres. We are proud to be selected as one of the 10 potential pathfinder countries. To achieve the SDGs, Cambodia calls on the international community to intensify efforts, strengthen cooperation, and rebuild trust and confidence to end wars, address the root causes of conflicts and reinvigorate solidarity for SDG achievement.

As a troop-contributing country, Cambodia fully supports increasing the portion of ODA for peacebuilding. Cambodia remains steadfast in its commitment to PKOS in contributing to international peace, security and stability which are crucial for sustainable development. To further contribute to this process, Cambodia has decided to stand for membership of the Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission for the term 2025 to 2026. We seek your invaluable support for our candidature to this body.

  • Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates

In conclusion, despite many challenges and instability, we can build a better world for all by working together towards our common goals with reinforced mutual trust and global solidarity. Cambodia fully supports the adoption of the SDG Summit Political Declaration and the Draft Decision of the Summit of the Future. These documents will help keep the SDGs on track and ensure their achievement by 2030.

Thank you.

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