Your Holiness the Buddhist Patriarchs,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Beloved Compatriots,
Today, it is a greatly joyful and happy day for the Royal Government and people of Cambodia across the country, especially those in the capital of Phnom Penh, – that we get together with greatest pleasure to commemorate, for the first time, theInternational Day of Peace (September 21) with other people all over the world.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, may I express my deepest gratitude to all of you for your presence here in this gathering.
We should note that the celebration of this first International Day of Peace is coincided with the “period” that Cambodian people are eagerly waiting for the convening of the third mandate National Assembly after the general election held on 27 July 2003, which has been assessed to be free, fair, accurate, transparent and acceptable by the national and international observers. All Cambodian people have expressed their strong support of the wise decision by His Majesty the King of Cambodia NORODOM SIHANOUK, – that the opening session of the third mandate National Assembly will be held on 27 September 2003 in accordance to the our national constitution.
Moreover, this celebration also happens in the time that Cambodian people are happily celebrating the Buddhism’s traditional days of “Phchum Ben” and the 10th Anniversary of the new monarchy under the rule of His Majesty the King Norodom Sihanouk and Her Majesty the Queen Monineath Sihanouk. Also, this time is especially a coincidence with the event that Cambodia was recently honored and entrusted to be another member of the WTO. The WTO Ministerial Conference has officially adopted and signed the protocol of admission on 12 September 2003 in Cancun, Mexico.
The Royal Government and people of Cambodia would like to express our deep gratitude to all members of the WTO for providing support of Cambodia’s membership into this important international organization. This membership will open access for Cambodia to broader world market and provide the opportunities for Cambodia to share the benefits from such an international trade relation, which is more conducive and equitable within the fast changing globalization. The membership in the WTO this time reflects the right-track and wise leadership of the Royal Government in its efforts toward economic and structural reform, modernization of legal system, building of institutional capacity and human resource, and especially the implementation of trade liberalization and investment programs in order to achieve the goal of integrating Cambodia into regional and world economic structure and market.
Thus, it is indeed a great political and economic victory for the Royal Government of Cambodia in implementing its “Triangle Strategy”, and it is a “diamond” opportunity for Cambodia to promote her long term development, and that will serve as a firm foundation for the third mandate Royal Government to move forward.
Cambodia has invested her considerable time and fullest efforts for the past decades by surviving many dangers, difficulties and innumerable obstacles to restore and rebuild the country from scratches left behind by the genocide and decades of prolong civil war, thus achieving full peace and strong economic stability as we have seen nowadays. As a country suffered from series of catastrophic wars, Cambodian people are too well aware of the importance and value of peace. In this sense, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia I wish to convey our deepest appreciation to the United Nations for initiating the observance of International Day of Peace on 21st September each year, thus it fully meets the will and insisted demand of the Royal Government and Cambodian people.
As a member state of the UN, so far Cambodia has been always fulfilling her obligations with greatest interest to contribute to achieving the ideal objective of the United Nations, – the maintaining of universal peace and security, and social development for humanity all over the world. In this spirit, I therefore solemnly declare, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, the commemoration of this International Day of Peace! May this first year, 21 September 2003, be a launching of new campaigns for strengthening the ideal peace, reduced tension and the elimination of sources of disputes, thus ceasing all violence and conflicts, big or small, all over the world!
I believe that, through the past experiences and new challenges faced by humanity, the UN’s initiative of choosing the 21st September as the International Day of Peace will indeed help Cambodian people and other people in the world, who love peace, to have a hope and confidence in a bright future of peaceful co-existence in a great family of humanity with harmonization and development, which is the happiness for the entire human society without discrimination in relation to races, political affiliation and religions.
Seeking for and maintaining peace and political stability to be ever-lasting are indeed the aspiration of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia. Peace for humanity is invaluable. Thus, we all shall together help nurture with utmost care and responsibility so that peace, which has been achieved with great difficulties and sacrifices, be firmly maintained and lasted forever. For this goal, the Royal Government has made its every effort to secure the peace, from the “depth of its heart to its day-to-day activity”. We are committed to sacrifice everything for the cause of peace and safety, for each individual, each family as well as for each country and each society, thus ensuring peace for nations all over the world.
Indeed, with strong commitment the Royal Government of Cambodia has succeeded in achieving the targets it has set. Specifically, in the second mandate the Royal Government has implemented with determination the “Triangle Strategy”, – creating a favorable environment and the required prerequisites, both at home and abroad, for Cambodia to move forward with strong hope and confidence on the path of reform and development.
The success in the implementation of a “win-win” policy has helped Cambodia to undergo a profound transformation from a region of uncertainty, civil strife, backwardness and instability to become the epicenter of peace, stability, safety and social order, democracy and respect for human rights and dignity, cooperation and development. For the shortest period compared to the development history of other developed countries, we have clearly shown to our international partners that Cambodia is fully capable to participate with equal footing in regional and world’s affairs. All these have been reflected in the increased confidence about Cambodia, which resulted in increased trade and flow of investment and tourists into Cambodia. These are the main factors helping to create employment and generate income for Cambodian labor, thus finally contribute the poverty reduction and improved well-being of people.
The Royal Government and people of Cambodia strongly believe that with this initiative, the solid solidarity and sincerity in implementing tasks and actual practices by people and governments of other UN’s member states, the world will succeed in its mission to strengthen peace, reduce tension, cease violence and disputes, and stop armed confrontation, threats and harms to human lives, thus creating the prerequisites for sustainable development, progress and prosperity.
I am confident and strongly believe that the celebration of this International Day of Peace will further strengthen the will our people and people over the world in contributing to secure peace, stability and social order for the sustained well-being and prosperity of all of us.
Recalling the importance of peace, the Royal Government and people of Cambodia always remember the valuable contribution by the international community, friendly countries as well as that of all national and international organizations in the peace process for Cambodia and continue their spiritual, financial and technical support extended to our people in the reconstruction and development of our country. I would like to take this opportunity, once again, to urge all our international partners to provide us courage and assistance to our efforts for the cause of peace, democracy, respect for human rights and dignity and sustainable development.
Finally, I wish you all the five gems of Buddhist blessings. May culture of peace firmly and deeply rooted in the conscience and heart of all Cambodian compatriots.