Dr. Vladimir N. SAUTOV, the distinguished representative of the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation,
Samdach and Princes,
Ladies and gentlemen,
My warmest greetings to you all!
I am most humbled and deeply honored to be awarded as a laureate of the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation. In behalf of my fellow laureates today, H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng and H.E. the Senior Minister Sok An, I wish to express our deepest gratitude to the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation, particularly the Academy’s Evaluation Committee, and all of the Academy’s professors and members. The great honor you have bestowed upon us today makes us so much more aware of the awesome responsibilities that we are accountable for as officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia. Your recognition of our efforts strengthens our resolution and will to carry forward with the great responsibilities and continuing sacrifices necessary for the effective governance of Cambodia.Indeed, the honor you give us today makes us see much more clearly the significance of the work necessary for the cause of strengthened peace, stability, development and Democracy in Cambodia. By being honored as members of the Academy, we have to redouble our efforts, since one cannot reject the continuing responsibilities and burdens of stewardship, now and in the future.
We are strengthened by this award. With this title of honor, supported by the Cambodian people and under the warm shadow of our Father of the Nation, His Majesty the King, Norodom Sihanouk and the Queen, Norodom Monineat Sihanouk, we are more confident that the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia will take greater leaps toward prosperity and peace.
Dr. Vladimir N. SAUTOV,
The friendship between the Russian and Cambodian peoples is not of recent vintage. Our friendship has deep historical roots, and has evolved through both difficult as well as good times when our two nations were are war or in political instability or economic difficulties.Yet through good times and bad, the friendship between our nations has persevered. Such friendship could not have been sustained had there been loser and winner between us. We know that wars are not begun, nor even ended, by weapons.
Questions about the origins of strife are complex – even with the world’s long and painful experience with war, solutions are still hard to pin down.Here in Cambodia, the hybrid term “win-win” term has come to life from our hearts and has become as vital as the breath of life. Our practice and implementation of the “win-win” concept of governance and peace-building has brought about the invaluable outcome of national reconciliation and peace. In Cambodia therefore, the “win-win” approach lies at the heart of our policies, strategies, philosophy and is the key factor in our nation’s success in the attainment of peace.
The achievement of peace does not mean that the responsibility of leadership has been accomplished. There is much more to be done after the peace is won. The tasks that face the leadership with the attainment of peace are very difficult and complicated. Fighting poverty is not easy. Through poverty is without fire nor smoke, it nevertheless demands a much more intense and dangerous struggle than war. Poverty is intangible and thus requires patience and knowledge, and careful consideration and planning. Poverty cannot be fought from a distance. Leaders must work close with the people, share their privation and difficulties, and together, rise and step out of the quagmire called the poverty trap.
To rehabilitate the country, the head of the government cannot focus on the economy exclusively. The leader must face hundreds of issues simultaneously. Social and cultural problems, security and social order, the strengthening of Democracy and the protection of human rights are just a few of all the important tasks need to be comprehensively attended to. Though Cambodia is still poor, we need fair and free elections, free of violence. Though we are poor, we need Democracy, the rule of law, human rights, freedom and so on and so forth. That is why the comprehensive program of reforms is the key to our survival. Without the reforms, we cannot talk about development. Moreover, when we attend to our development, our efforts cannot be isolated and random. These must be held together by a comprehensive strategy.
Therefore, as head of Government, I have initiated the “Triangle Strategy.” This does not mean that we will focus our efforts on only three things. On the contrary, the strategy organizes our programs into three clusters of processes. These clusters are interdependent and reinforce each other to move our country forward on the path toward sustainable development.When we attained peace in all of Cambodia, we switched our focus from war to the rehabilitation and development of our nation. I say again, it has not been easy. Nevertheless, there are advances that gladden us, that also strengthen peace in Cambodia. The recent commune council elections were not only free and fair and without violence. The commune elections also marked the singular emergence of political power at the grassroots. It is clear to me that all the reforms that have been started are now producing positive outcomes in waves.
As the laureates of the Russian Academy of Sciences: H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng; H.E. the Senior Minister Sok An; and myself; we humbly convey our deep appreciation and gratitude to His Majesty the King, Preh Norodom Sihanouk and the Queen, Norodom Monineat Sihanouk, wishing them long life to be with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren – the Cambodian people.I also take this opportunity to convey my best wishes to Samdach Chea Sim, the President of the Senate, and to Samdach Krom Preh Norodom Ranarith, the President of the National Assembly.
I wish to share the happiness and honor of this award with Chumteav Bun Rany Hun Sen, my beloved wife who has always stayed with me, especially during the difficult times of my life.I believe that H.E. Sar Keng and H.E. Sok An would of course, share this feeling with their wives! And finally, I share this honor with my beloved children, grandchildren and all relatives, friends and colleagues.This laureate should also go to the Cambodian masses, especially the civil servants who have wholeheartedly helped in implementing the Royal Government’s program to first, end the war and now, fight against poverty.Let me close by requesting my fellow Laureates to join me in thanking all of you who are here today, in this very happy and fulfilling event.
Let us all thank Dr. Vladimir Sautov and the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation for honoring us. We wish him long life, good health and continued success.