– Your Excellencies, Heads of the ASEAN Civil Services
and the Representative of ASEAN Secretariat,
– Your Excellencies Ambassadors,
– Distinguished Guests,
– Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to you all to the 13th ASEAN Conference on Civil Services Matters (ACCSM) here in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.
This conference is of great significance to our respective countries, as it represents an opportunity for the Heads of ASEAN Civil Services to dialogue and share vision and experiences in reaching our common objective of ASEAN integration, narrowing the development gaps between the more developed and new ASEAN member countries. This is indeed to follow up and implement the “Bali Concord II Declaration”, which covers three fundamental cooperation areas, i.e. the political and security cooperation, economic cooperation, and social and cultural cooperation. The ultimate objective is to build an ASEAN Community based on the paradigm of three key community pillars: (1). ASAEN Security Community; (2). ASEAN Economic Community; and (3). ASEAN Social and Cultural Community. The three communities are regarded as triplet that is ready for birth by 2020. In this spirit, I believe that we need to make efforts in the future to develop our countries in the context of ASEAN vision.
Undoubtedly, in the community works of Cambodia’s social and cultural development, we aim to promote cooperation in social and cultural development through the enhancement of quality of life for the people. In this view, the Royal Government will pursue implementing the agenda of social policy by increasing the investment resource on education, vocational training, conservation, and development of cultural heritage and human resource development, which are the key strategy to create more employments for the next generation as well as to ensure Cambodia’s competitive advantage in the future. The community for Cambodia’s social and cultural development is a social and cultural community, which mainly focus on social fund and human resource.
The quest for regional integration constitutes one of the pillars of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s strategy to development. Moreover, proactive participation on equal footing within ASEAN requires that Cambodia takes further strides in strengthening its institutional capacity and developing human resources. This also means acceleration of the pace in carrying out reforms in all areas, which will engender in turn the deepening of transformation and socio-economic and cultural development in Cambodia.
In recent years, Cambodia has relied on its own means/resources and external assistances to strengthen its status in ASEAN through the implementation of state reform in all sectors which is now becoming more and more comprehensive and deeply rooted. Our long‑term policy agenda for the development in the 21st century is to develop a qualified human resource and efficiently utilize national human capital.
We in ASEAN are now promoting the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration, adopted by the fourth Informal Meeting of ASEAN Leaders in Singapore in 2000. The initiative focuses on the following essential sectors:
• Infrastructure development: transportation and energy
• Human resource development: building public sector capacities, labor, employment and higher education
• Information and communication technology: information exchange
• Regional economic integration: trade, goods and services, custom and investment standard etc.
All these are the significant contribution to narrowing development gaps and promoting the progression in ASEAN family. This is due to the fact that the outcomes of our partnership and cooperation within ASEAN community have proved that we are on a right track and it is necessary to proceed.
The Preparatory Meeting in April 2005 adopted the theme for the 13″ ASEAN Conference on Civil Service Matters as “Human Resource Development in the Public Service as Strategic Partnership for National Development: New Paradigm in ASEAN Context”. The theme appears to be emphasized on strategic partnership in the process of strengthening capacity of civil servants in order to make public administration to be operational, transparent, productive, responsible, and reasonable remuneration for motivating efficient participation in national development.
In this sense, the Royal Government of Cambodia is implementing the “Economic and Public Service Capacity Building Project (EPSCB)” under support of international development communities. The objectives of the project is not only to promote high professional capability in public administration and brings public administration closer to the people, but also to supports the development process to encourage changes and support the reform aimed at improving skill in leaderships, managements, and policy development. To achieve the objectives, the Royal Government and Development Partners give high priority, both technical and financial assistance, to domestic training institutions such as Royal School of Administration and Economic and Finance Institute in the field of public administration and economics and finance, respectively. In particular, I think that ASEAN Resource Center of Cambodia mandated to build capacity of civil servants is a newly established institution under the organizational structure of the State Secretariat for Civil Service remains a weak institution which required more support from the Royal Government and ASEAN development partners.
In the age of globalization, Cambodian public sector management and land administration required to utilize the Government Administration Information System (GAIS) which is universal, clear, realistic and benefited to Cambodia for serving as a basis for development in all sectors through providing better quality of public services and providing accurate information of residents, land and vehicles ownerships etc.
To enforce the vision, the Royal Government of Cambodia established National Information Communication Technology Development Authority (NiDA) under technical assistance of the Republic of Korea and the institution has been working with a significant output on GAIS, Electronic Approval System (EAS), Network e‑Government, car registration, resident registration, voter registration, child enrollment, foreigner management, inventory inspection and compilation and translation of technical documents in its domain.
The Royal Government evaluates and concludes that the implementation of Government Administration Information System (GAIS) is on the right track and it is necessary to further acceleration of this activity. Based on the aforementioned points, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of practical approaches relates to the theme of “Human Resource Development in the Public Service as Strategic Partner for National Development: New Paradigm in ASEAN Context” as follows:
Evaluate the hot issues including to disappointment, changes and improvement is necessary to achieve the goal
Political will and financial support of the government could be considered as an effective motivator to attract the participation from national and international circles.
As far as the “Initiative for ASEAN Integration” is concerned, the Royal Government of Cambodia totally support the program of training of trainers raised by Loa PDR in the ACCSM Preparatory Meeting held in April 2005 because the government views that such training would spend less, but produced a lot of trainers. Furthermore, this program would play a significant role in strengthening domestic trainers to shoulder such training in the future.
Further developing closer regional and international cooperation in all sectors aimed at developing human resources which is one of the top priorities in ASEAN.
I think that that the Civil Service is now beyond our national boundaries and extended to regional level to face up with similar challenges and risks. Thus, the training requirement for human resources to be credible development players should be in line with the development of science, technology and information technology.
Once again, I would like to express my appreciation for the decision of the 12th ASEAN Conference on Civil Service Matters held in Brunei Darussalam to handover the honorable duty to Cambodia to host this 13th Conference. This implies that Cambodian Civil Service is progressing and integrating within ASEAN family.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a great pleasure, safety and good memory for staying in the Kingdom of Cambodia. I also wish the 13th Conference to be successful, a forum of close solidarity, friendship, cooperation. May I declare the opening of the 13th ASEAN Conference on Civil Service Matters.