Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, a country enjoying full peace just in the last 11 years, has a great honor to host the gathering of delegates from the whole Southeast Asian region, United States of America and Australia in this conference. Cambodia will do its utmost to share its experiences with other countries in this conference.
I would like to encourage the Secretariat of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee to remain committed to hosting this event to achieve the desired outcomes.
I would also like to thank the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and the Embassy of the United States for financing the event and sending experts to this conference. I believe this conference will help boost security stability both within and outside Southeast Asia.
The participation of all the delegates reflects the unanimity amongst all of us on the significance of security challenges associated with terrorism that requires joint efforts and absolute consensus to defeat terrorists.
The recent hotel bombings in Jakarta reminded all of us to avoid unilateralism. Some analysts said the bombing was a warning to the newly elected president who had been actively fighting terrorists. Some said the terrorists targeted an English football team that had been scheduled to stay in the bombed hotel. However, I personally think the terrorists is trying to send a message that they are still able to conduct large-scale attacks even terrorist attacks have significantly declined. Therefore, we must continuously strengthen both hard and soft security. Planning, prevention, special anti-terrorism trainings, and well-organized espionage system must be the top agenda. Ensuring hard and soft security is not adequate for fighting terrorists, we need to be creative to defeat them.
After the 11 September and Bali bombing events, the terrorist network Jemaah Islamiah has constantly weakened. This group has lost its strongholds one by one while its leaders have also been arrested. Even this terrorist network has weakened; it is still able to conduct large-scale attacks. This alerts us to boost both intraregional and interregional cooperation to support each other to promote the capacity in preventing and cracking down on terrorists. More importantly, we must better information sharing amongst all of us. Although we cannot eliminate terrorists in the short term, we must always remain committed to this historic mission.
Finally, I would like to extend my high appreciation to all of you that engage in the joint efforts to ensure the safety for everyone; and please be assured that your work will always be remembered by the governments and people both within and outside the region. I would like to wish all the delegates, participants, observers and panelists good health and creativity to achieve the fruitful outcome from this conference. May I know declare the opening of this conference!