- Samdech Vibolsena Pheakdei SAY Chhum, President of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Co-President of the ASEP11;
- Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei HENG Samrin, President of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Co-President of the ASEP11;
- Her Excellency Heidi HAUTALA, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Representative of Honarary President of European Parliament;
- Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen!
To begin with, I am honoured and pleased to deliver a keynote at the 11th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP11). I would like to highly value of the close relationship within the Asia-Europe Partnership, and I am confident that our friendship will continue to strive, strengthen and persevere as a foundation to promote cooperation and resolve common crises that we will face in the future.
Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted our daily norms of works and livelihood, can be considered as a test of Asia-Europe’s commitment to maintain a trust-based cooperation. Although this crisis has threatened the global multilateralism, our commitment to strengthen the cooperation remains unshaken. On the contrary, a strong cooperative Asia-Europe Partnership shall let us overcome and emerge from this global crisis together, without leaving any country behind.
Amidst this challenging circumstance, the ASEP is a critical and core mechanism to connect people to people of our two continents, and the results from this meeting will be served as invaluable inputs and recommendation for the upcoming ASEM13. As the host of the ASEM13, Cambodia’s priority is to promote and strengthen multilateralism in order to achieve a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient post-pandemic socio-economic recovery.
- Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
The global peace and security are facing immense pressure and uncertainties due to intensifying geopolitical rivalries. Geopolitical fault lines are being drawn, and force small States to choose political agendas that do not reflect their will or national interests. In the context of such tense geopolitical rivalry, only a trust-based partnership allows us to preserve a multilateral system that guarantees world’s peace, stability, growth and prosperity. In this spirit, we all need to continue upholding the value of peace, and constantly explore necessary mechanisms to achieve this noble and cherished goal.
The Asia-Europe parliamentary institutions will play a crucial role in enhancing trusts, in advancing Parliamentary Preventive Diplomacy, and ultimately, in securing strategic trust on security and stability issues, which are increasingly more complex and intertwined. On this basis, Cambodia is committed to strictly adhering to the principles of mutual respect, mutual learning, mutual understanding, mutual trust, and mutual interest to build the necessary foundation for implementing our multilateral foreign policy. Should there be no robust multilateralism, we cannot certainly solve the aforementioned issues as a whole.
Time is not on our side as we only have 9 years away to realize the pre-set Sustainable Development Goals. Under the current circumstance, only resource’s allocation and its effective uses with solidarity from all related stakeholders can help us realize a sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic recovery, a pre-requisite toward achieving the Development Targets. This will also require the spirit of liberalization in trade and investment, as well as maintaining stability in supply and production chains, to link and enhance regional and inter-regional integrations into a deeper level.
In the midst of every crisis, lies an opportunity that cannot be left overseen. The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for economic reforms, as well as other priorities for our development agendas. In fact, we have observed that changes in supply and production chains, fast-growing digital transformation, circular economy, and green growth are all economic opportunities in the New Normal that every country must seize. In this regard, Cambodia’s economic recovery in the context of living with COVID-19 in the New Normal will include these trends as its reform agendas, and we are optimistic that these trends will become the common identities of the world’s post-crisis recovery.
- Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
The ASEP Meeting of today indicates a strong sign that we are ready to move on toward a priority agenda of multilateralism, and I do count on all delegates to energize this ASEP meeting with your wisdom, ideas and initiatives to make it a proud success. Lastly, I wish Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen good health, success in every endeavour and eternal prosperity.