– Your Excellencies the Receiver of Honorary Doctorate,
– Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen and Professors,
– Distinguish National and International Guests,
Today, I am honored and extremely pleased to participate in the presentation ceremony of honorary doctorate degrees in political science from the Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology to two distinguish persons, the members of the Royal Government, H.E. Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and H.E. Men Som On, Senior Minister, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Inspection. At the same time, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Board of Directors, science council, including management of Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology (CUP) for assessing and unanimously awarding the Honorary Doctorate in political science to both persons, the children of Cambodia nation. This not only represent a high honor and show the respect and appreciation to the senior government officials but also recognize the capacity, talent, wisdom and virtue of these two doctorate receivers, they are the example for inspiration and commitment for rehabilitation of the country to gain sustainable development and prosperity.
Moreover, I also would like to welcome the delegations from five universities, partners of Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology, coming from Kingdom of Thailand, Australia, Singapore, including European institute and university from Swaziland. As well, let me welcome the university delegations from the Chong Ching of the People Republic of China and the delegations from South Korea that are now here to discuss cooperation with Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology and also are joining us in this auspicious event.
On behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I would like to congratulate and joint the celebration with both doctorate receivers, they have sacrificed for the cause of the Cambodian nation and its people to liberate our country on 7 January 1979 and to prevent the return of genocide regime and have continued to maintain national independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty and developments.
During the past few decades, Cambodia has struggled to overcome difficulties and challenges. Indeed, the reason that we able to prevail over those difficult time is because of our sacrifices and strong commitments to transform Cambodia into a country that have full peace, improved social order, cooperation and development. In fact, the various reforms are now yielding its fruits leading to economic growth within the framework of “Rectangular Strategy” for growth, employment,equity and efficiency. Reforms that the Royal Government are comprehensively undertaking as follows: Public Financial Management Reform, Financial Sector Development, Private Sector Development and Reform in Governance which include Land Management Reform, Administrative Reform, Reform in Armed Forces and Legal and Judicial Reform all these are aiming at creating favorable environment for businesses and investments through trade facilitation and promoting private sector participations in development of physical infrastructures, SMEs and etc. The government will achieve these reforms in the environment of political stability and peace, it is the main precondition in order for Cambodia to move forward in reducing poverty of our people, respect of human rights and dignity, strengthening democracy and achieving sustainable development.
At the same time, the Royal Government also focuses on equitable distribution of economic growth and clearly understands that it is another key factor for implementing poverty reduction policy, which is the ultimate goals of the Royal Government and stipulated in the “National Strategic Development Plan”. Moreover, the equal distribution of economic growth is a path set by the Government to achieve the Cambodia Millennium Development Goals and implement the Rectangular Strategyof the Royal Government for growth, employment, equity and efficiency in Cambodia.
Certainly, the decision made by the Assessment Committee of Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology (CUP) to award the honorary doctorate degree in political science is an evidence of the mental and spiritual efforts and the great sacrifices of the two noble persons in contributing to peace in Cambodia that open opportunities for economic and social development.
In this regards, H.E. Tea Banh and H.E. Men Sam On had played an important role as Commanding Officer and effective servant of the Royal Government. They have exerted utmost efforts in the Cambodia Royal Armed Force and public movement, especially to enhance respect of women rights and recognize the value of women in political, economic and social arenas and have constantly contributed to the development of the country.
Undoubtedly, the two dignitaries have made the great achievements for our country. Before the liberation day of 7 January 1979, they were patriots, brave and devoted soldiers in the resistance movement for the cause of our nation and people. They were in the ferocious battle to liberate the country from the Khmer Rough regime and revive the Cambodian people’s rights, freedoms and development. H.E. Tea Banh as the Minister of Defense has strengthened the Cambodia Royal Armed Force to fight against the return of genocidal regime as well as to protect the independence and territorial integrity. After the 1993 election, H.E. Tea Banh has had responsibility in reorganizing and integrating the fractioned forces that signed the Paris Agreement. Indeed in the implementation of Win-Win Policy, H.E. Tea Banh was a key person in the process of integrating forces of all fractions in order to have national reconciliation and unity among the fractioned armed forces, completely rooted out secession zone and especially overthrowing the Khmer Rough Political Organization and armed forces of the former Democratic Kampuchea and brought full peace to Cambodia in 1998. This is the great achievement attained by the Royal Government and was the direct contribution of H.E. Tea Banh, Cambodia Royal Armed Force and Cambodian people as a whole. Gaining full peace at that time opened a new historical chapter and was a strong foundation to regain investors and business confidence for them to participate in social and economic development aiming at rebuilding and developing Cambodia toward prosperity and dignity as in the golden period of the Angkor.
In addition to the above achievement, H.E. Tea Banh has connected the Armed Forces to the people all over the country by helping them in cultivation and saving our citizens from disasters such as flood, drought and etc. Moreover, the RCAF has been requested by the United Nations to participate in forces for the humanity mission and peace keeping in the Sudan. This is the valuable contribution of RCAF under the leadership of H.E. Tea Banh as well as the military officials, soldiers and all armed forces to protect peace, security, integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to point out that all stages of preparing strategy and tactics both during peace and war time as well as during negotiation time such as Paris Accord negotiation and implementation time, Win-Win policy period and political deadlock in 1998 and 2003 etc., H.E. Tea Banh has been always standing with me and especially during the most difficult period, the present of H.E. Tea Banh has been a valuable support and source of knowledge helping me to attain achievements for our people and nation.
H.E. Men Sam On, after the liberation day of 7 January 1979, she worked in promoting ideas. She educated people on the principles and policies of Kampuchean National United Front for National Salvation that fought against the return of genocidal regime. At that time, H.E. Men Sam On was extremely successful in leading public movements across the country after the liberation day of 7 January 1979. She led Kampuchean Women Association for National Salvation and Kampuchea Union Federation that were responsible for educating workers and employees who are producing consumption goods to meet the needs of Cambodia society in order to build the economic foundation toward prosperity.
Moreover, she is an exemplar of Cambodian women leader. Even though, she is busy in fulfilling her responsibility, she has managed her valuable time to learn more and upgrade her knowledge and wrote a doctorate thesis on Patriotism of Cambodian Women via Literature. This is the great qualification and is an example for Cambodian Women to follow aiming at advancing their qualification as well as at enhancing value of women in the society. This reflects in the great achievement made by her together with the Royal Government in the mutual cause of building a Cambodia Society without violence, especially contribute to gain participation from Cambodian women to fight against domestic violence and violence in the society as well as improving living status of Cambodian women.
Indeed, in the current circumstances violence is still occurring in every country of the world due to lack of law and weak judicial system, lack of serious education and lack of government financial resources. Therefore, respect human rights especially women and children and gender mainstreaming program for our women are the big contribution to prevent family violence especially towards women and children. Certainly, adhering to the tradition, upholding cultural heritage, maintaining lasting and strong national civilization, enhancing moral value and dignity of the society and promoting cultural conservation and development are the complicated work that required participation from all concerned individuals. This important work requires great role of women because women are the mother of the world humanity.
In this spirit, the Royal Government of Cambodia has adopted firm agenda such as establishment of organization for strategic policy studies and development of programs to enhance living standard, status, position and role of women in the society. H.E. Men Sam On as a senior leader contributing tremendously under national, international and local framework. Moreover, today she is awarded honorary doctorate in political science by the Board of Director and Science Council of CUP. This is another great achievement made by her that can be considered as the equal share for women in term of intellectual assets. This also shows the effort of the Royal Government to promote and enhance gender in Cambodia.
In this spirit, to encourage and create value of women in economic and social activities, the Royal Government clearly understands that it is necessary to build intellectual asset of women by promoting girl to finish high school and university. If we have more intellectual women, value of women would go up in all political, economic and social works. During 2003 election, there were 12% of women elected to be member of National Assembly which increased 17.8% comparing to the second term of the National Assembly. We have 13% of women that are senators which increased 18% compare to the previous term. These results show that woman more actively participate in the national as well as decision making positions. However, we recognize that more works need to be done for the Royal Government to improve the status and welfare of Cambodian women in our society.
I envisage that the honorary doctorate awarded to her now is appropriate and at the time that policy of the Royal Government is to advocate the capable human resources to meet the demand in economic and social development in Cambodia both in present and future time. This fact has been clearly stipulated in the Rectangular Strategy of the government and considered the women as the back bone of economic and social development.
Base on this great example and results of the policy implementation for the benefits of our nation and people, H.E. Tea Banhand H.E. Men Sam On are qualified to be awarded doctorate degree in political science.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely compliment the judgment of the CUP Science Council on the qualification of the two receivers. I support and continue to support the efforts of CUP and wish the CUP and partner universities to have a success in their activities in order to further contribute to the human resources development in Cambodia.
Finally, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and myself, I wish H.E. Tea Banh and H.E. Men Sam On and their spouse a good health, wisdom and success in their future endeavor for the nation. May I wish good luck and success to you all, Your Excellencies, professors, lecturers, ladies and gentlemen as well wish you all with the five gems of Buddhist blessings.