– Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
– Military Officers, Privates, and Participants!
Today, I have a great honor and pleasure to participate with Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Distinguished Guests in a Multi-national Peacekeeping Operation Training Exercise, named as “Angkor Sentinel 2010”.
On behalf of the Royal Government and Cambodian people, I would like to extent my warmest welcome to the presence of Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, Military Officers and Privates of the friend countries in the Kingdom of Cambodia and wish you a happy and the most pleasant stay.
I would like to express appreciation and highly evaluate the Management of the Ministry of Defense, Headquarter of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and related ministries/institutions, particularly the management team of the Multi-national Peacekeeping Operation Training Exercise 2010 for their close cooperation with US Military Headquarter in Pacific Region to organize this training exercise.
The reports by H.E Senior General Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and by H.E. Admiral Willard, the Commander of the U.S. Headquarter in Pacific Region, illustrated the history of the participation of Cambodian Armed Forces in the UN Peacekeeping Operation and the preparation of this exercise that is hosted by Cambodia this year.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to emphasize that this training exercise is not a military maneuver that can be the source of threats or worries to any countries, but it is merely a training that is complying with the UN standard and practices in order to provide opportunity for the armed forces of any countries to share their experiences and to strengthen closer cooperation for regional and global peacekeeping operation.
The history of Cambodia in the mission of UN Peacekeeping Operation started 5 years ago together with the decision making made by the Royal Government to send demining forces to Sudan. That was a tremendous decision that I must be responsible for the history, the nation and Cambodian people as a whole. Although Cambodia has cleared mines from its territory, as state member of UN, a state party of Ottawa Convention and as a war-torn country, Cambodia has to share its demining forces to assist other countries that are now facing danger caused by landmines and unexploded ordinance as we have experienced.
From a war-torn country, Cambodia has earned full peace in its territory and has participated in the peacekeeping operation in other countries. From a country that has received assistance from blue-cap forces to maintain peace to be a Country that has sent its forces for peacekeeping operation in other countries.
As indicated in the report by H.E.Tea Banh, Cambodia has been internationally recognized with appreciation as a leading country in global peacekeeping operation. The success of RCAF in Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic proves to the world that Cambodia is a key contributor to international security and peacekeeping. Last month, a new demining unit traveled to Sudan in order to replace a team on peacekeeping mission in the fifth year; and in the next few months, a team of engineering corps accompanied with manual and mechanical mine clearing unit will proceed to be on peacekeeping operation mission in Lebanon.
Similar to the participation of our Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in peacekeeping mission of the United Nations, this multi-national peacekeeping operation training exercise “Angkor Sentinel 2010” has opened a new page to integrate Cambodia into the region and the world. This training exercise will also strengthen and expand Cambodia’s capacity in supporting peace operation, enhancing multi-lateral cooperation as well as strengthening international relations and regional partnership for the cause of peace and humanity.
Cambodia could send its military to participate in the United Nations mission and host this multi-national peacekeeping operation training exercise simply because our country has gained full peace, political stability, unification and territorial integrity due to the Win-Win Policy which unifies all fractioned armed forces to live together with happiness.
This training exercise is a fruit of military cooperation between Cambodia and the United States of America in which during the past few years, there has been the progress in the reform of national defense, border and marine border security, anti-terrorism, civil-military operation and mine clearance.
At the same time, the Royal Government of Cambodia had closely cooperated with bilateral and multi-lateral international countries in order to contribute to the national development in all sectors for poverty reduction, as stated in the Rectangular Strategy-Phase II of the Royal Government.
The involvement of Cambodia in bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation with countries and security mechanism in the region has remarkably increased and is contributing to maintain stability and peace for regional development. In the past several years, beside military peacekeeping, Cambodia had also actively involved in natural disaster emergency aid, military health and marine security.
Cambodia has truly traveled its long journey in the development process and has overcome countless impediments until earning peace, political stability, security and social order, democracy, respect of human rights and dignities, macro-economic stability, international cooperation and global and regional integration as well as achieving success in infrastructure development and improvement of governance system.
The Royal Government will continue its foreign policy based on the principals of neutrality, co-existence and non-alliance, friendship building, and cooperation with all countries around the globe with equity, respect of independence and sovereignty of respective territories. The Royal Government will reinforce its bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation with other friend countries, international organizations and regional and sub-regional organizations to underpin development with the objective to actively participate equally with equal rights with the world community in order to deal with global challenges such as terrorism, cross-border crime, environmental protection, aiming to maintain and strengthen peace, stability, security, cooperation and regional, sub-regional and global development. Along with this, the Royal Government will continue to take part in humanitarian acts and international peacekeeping operation through sending Cambodian forces to peacekeeping mission in various countries in the framework of the United Nations, within its capacity and resources as fulfilled before; and Cambodia is also very proud to become a training center of the forces from various countries into to become the UN peace keeping forces in the future.
Cambodia is very proud and pleasant to host the multi-national peacekeeping operation training exercise “Angkor Sentinel 2010” today. I strongly believe that this two-week event will enable Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen to exchange knowledge and experiences and strengthen closer cooperation in the name as supporters of the regional and global peace in the future.
Once again, I would like to thank the Headquarter of the US Military in Pacific Region for supporting to organize this training exercise as well assisting to transform this center of the former Tank Commanding Headquarter into a center for training the multi-national peacekeepers in the future.
Finally, with the opening of “Angkor Sentinel 2010” training exercise, May I wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen the four gems of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.