Today, I am very pleased to be able to attend the closing ceremony of the annual meeting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which was suspended for two years due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
I would like to welcome the presence of His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, leaders, members of the Royal Government, National Assembly, Senate, academic, research and the media institutions in this important ceremony. On this occasion, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the significant efforts and achievements of the leadership, officials and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2022. I would also express my appreciation for the important and active contributions of the Ministries, institutions and entities as a whole that have contributed to making 2022 one of the most successful years in our Cambodian diplomacy.
As mentioned in the briefing by His Excellency Prak Sokhon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the conference discussed the regional and global situation and assessed the influence and impact of profound change and the complexities of geopolitics, strategy and economics on our region and country, and has been considering ways to promote further institutional reform to increase our work efficiency.
Indeed, (1) 2022 is an unusual year for our diplomatic battle, a year in which Cambodia takes over the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN at a time when there are some of the biggest and most complex challenges ever in the history of our community.
Although Cambodia has successfully controlled the Covid-19 epidemic and reopened the country, the emergence of new variants continues to put serious pressure on the public health sector.
The rivalry between (2) the two largest powers has become increasingly determined, complex and on numerous fronts, putting even more pressure on countries in the region, especially on Cambodia.
The political, security, economic and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar remains a problem for ASEAN, and the burden of finding a solution to the crisis falls on Cambodia as the chair of ASEAN and the special envoy of the ASEAN chair.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to deteriorate as North Korea launches the largest number of missile tests ever.
As the situation in the South China Sea remains relatively calm, the Taiwan issue has become a hot spot in Sino-US relations, especially after US Speaker Pelosi’s visit, which coincided with the opening day of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Phnom Penh.
But what has shaken the rule of law is that (3) Russia’s war against Ukraine has so far left tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians dead, millions displaced and much of their homes and property destroyed.
The events that took place in the region did have a direct or indirect effect on Cambodia, putting serious pressure on our sovereignty, independence, neutrality and political decisions, both nationally and internationally.
However, by adhering to an independent foreign policy based on the rule of law, based on the core interests of our nation and our people, we have turned challenges into opportunities and have shown genuine willingness to obey the law, purpose and principles of the UN Charter.
On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine, (4) China played a leading role in seeking peace to end the war in Ukraine, making a 12-point proposal. Cambodia supports China’s 12-point proposal because it stipulates respect for international law, the UN Charter principles, which are the rules for relations between sovereign states, such as sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. The above proposal also calls for an end to military hostilities. From experience, war is the worst way to end a war, but a ceasefire is the best way to end a war. The proposal also called for peace talks and a unilateral end to sanctions. The above principles are in line with Cambodia’s position. In addition, China’s proposal also focuses on humanitarian aspects, food security and post-conflict reconstruction. (5) Cambodia calls on all parties concerned to carefully consider China’s proposal to end the fighting, end the suffering of the people and the destruction of property and infrastructure, and bring peace back […]./.