I am sure after working hard with the meetings over the past three days you and I are all tired, though we could at least now feel relieved that everything went very well.
As you all know that from November 18 through to 20, 2012, Cambodia has been honored to host and chair the 21 ASEAN summit and related summits in the Samtepheap building. This has strengthened and expanded achievements so far scored by ASEAN when Cambodia chairs ASEAN and celebrates the 45th anniversary of the foundation of ASEAN as well. Cambodia has picked up the theme of “ASEAN – One Community, One Destiny” to showcase its determination and the collaboration within ASEAN in building a big friendly family of ASEAN with harmonious political, security, socio-economic and cultural environment based on the principle of law, peace and firmness of the economy.
I think the communiqués, statements and other related papers, with regard to results of the Summits, have been made available to you by the Secretariat of the meetings already, so there is no need for me to made further comments on those for you. On this occasion, please allow me to list some of the important points of the Summits as follows:
- The 21 ASEAN Summit
We have discussed fruitfully both in the Summit and in the retreat meeting. In general, the meeting focused on reviewing and evaluating of the progress that we have achieved and defining challenges that we have to overcome so as to implement the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Community Building Roadmap based on the three pillars – political, security and socio-economic and cultural. In implementation of the Phnom Penh agenda, adopted by the ASEAN leaders in the 20th ASEAN Summit, we proposed to related ministers, especially the ASEAN Economic Ministers, to take those recommendations in the mid-term report of the roadmap of ASEAN Economic Community into consideration, and to define the priority areas and seek unity in implementing political measures prior to 2015. Particularly, in implementing the master plan of ASEAN Connectivity, the ASEAN leaders have advised the Ministers of Finance of ASEAN countries to urge other ASEAN partnering ministers to participate and finance for the ASEAN Infrastructural Fund for all prioritized projects to fulfill on a timely basis.
We have adopted the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights and signed the Phnom Penh Declaration. In addition to these, the ASEAN Leaders have also adopted the joint statement to launch the establishment of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation and Plan of Action of the Third Bali Agreements 2013-2017. The ASEAN leaders have selected H.E. Le Luong Minh as the ASEAN Secretary General for the next five years from 2013 through to 2017. Economic and political focus and unity has been reached in promoting the central role of ASEAN within the existing frameworks – ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Regional Forum, East Asia Summit and ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting and ADMM Plus. In further discussion and exchange, the ASEAN leaders have supported a report on the result of Cambodia’s participation as Chair of ASEAN in the G20 Summit that took place in Los Cabos of Mexico from June 18 through to 19.
As far as the issue of the South China Sea is concerned, the ASEAN leaders have agreed to continue to resolve within the existing Sino-ASEAN framework. In addition to this, we have agreed to give importance to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties involved in the South China Sea in accordance with instructions adopted in 2011 aimed at furthering mutual trust and confidence. In line with this, the ASEAN leaders have supported the Kingdom of Thailand as a coordinating country on the ASEAN-China relations to go on working with China in search for chance to conduct negotiation on and realize the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in the future. ASEAN has also reiterated its support for the efforts to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in peaceful manner, and call on especially for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talk.
- Summit of the ASEAN Business Council
The Summit has reaffirmed the growingly important role of the ASEAN Business Council in promoting trade facilitation and improving the investment environment in the ASEAN region. The meeting also welcomes recommendations of the survey reports of 2011-12 on the ASEAN Competitiveness and agrees with the required new strategies to attract private sector, small and medium enterprises.
- The 15th ASEAN-China Summit
The ASEAN-China leaders have come to agreement to further effective implementation in a timely manner the 2011-2015 Plan of Action to put into practice the declaration on Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and China for peace and prosperity. At the same time, the ASEAN leaders have welcomed the continued assistance of China, technically and financially, for the construction of the ASEAN Community and the ASEAN Connectivity, especially the Phnom Penh Agenda. We have noted the significance of the third protocol that requires amendments within the framework agreement on wider economic cooperation, and of the protocol to include measures for the reduction of technical barriers and quarantine into the trade agreement to usher in more steps for ASEAN and China to achieve two-way trade objective of 500 billion USD, Chinese direct investment of 10 billion USD, and 15 million tourists to and from the two sides by 2015.
The ASEAN-China leaders fruitfully discussed and adopted the joint statement on the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties involved in the South China Sea aimed at reaffirming the ASEAN-China determination based on all principles while urging more important measures so as to reach the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea to resolve problems in the South China Sea and promote regional peace, stability, friendship, trust and cooperation.
- the 15th ASEAN-Japan Summit
We have underlined the bonds of friendship and strategic partner between ASEAN and Japan in guaranteeing regional peace and stability and in promoting the sharing of prosperity as stipulated in the joint statement on the uplifting of the ASEAN-Japan partnership for common prosperity. The ASEAN leaders have noted the growth in trade between ASEAN and Japan and welcome the adoption of the 10 years roadmap for economic relations between ASEAN and Japan, while urging for early conclusion of the trade, service and investment negotiation within the framework of ASEAN-Japan comprehensive economic partnership. The ASEAN leaders have supported the Japanese contributions in the implementation of master plan on the ASEAN Connectivity and highly evaluated the Youth Exchange program through the Japanese Kizuna scheme, while appreciating the Japanese energetic and active support for the ASEAN Centre for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance in disaster management.
- The 15th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit
The ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit leaders welcome the progress of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit Centre that is playing a very important role in promoting cooperation between the two sides. We agree to continue to make efforts aimed at achieving the two-way trade objective between ASEAN and Korea at 150 billion USD by 2015. The ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit leaders are determined to further strengthening their strategic partnership so to promote trade, investment, tourism and culture between ASEAN and Korea.
The ASEAN leaders attach great importance to the Mekong-ROK cooperation in contributing to ASEAN’s endeavor to enhance ASEAN connectivity and ASEAN Community building. We welcome the Han-River Declaration of the Establishment of the Mekong-ROK Comprehensive Partnership for Mutual Prosperity and its move towards the establishment of the comprehensive partnership “Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund.” The ASEAN-Republic of Korea leasers have indicated once again their positions for peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula while urging for early resumption of the Six-Party Talk.
- The 15th ASEAN Plus Three Commemorative Summit
The Summit has noted with satisfaction on the progress of cooperation in the ASEAN Plus Three framework and active contribution of the Plus Three countries for the efforts of implementing prioritized projects stated in the master plan on the ASEAN Connectivity. The meeting has adopted a joint declaration of the ASEAN Plus Three leaders on the fifteenth anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, while the Plus Three countries are promising to support the ASEAN efforts in integrating and building its economic community by 2015. The Plus Three countries are also supporting the master plan on ASEAN Connectivity as well. The meeting has adopted the Leaders’ Declaration on ASEAN Plus Three Partnership in Connectivity, in which the Plus Three countries promised to provide further supports in order to expedite the implementation of the master plan. Furthermore, we welcome the two reports of the East Asia Vision groups on the realization of the East Asia Economic Community by 2020 and on the agreement to promote regional understanding about culture and tourism.
- The Tenth ASEAN-India Summit
We congratulate progress of implementation of the Plan of Action for ASEAN-India partnership for peace, progress and prosperity 2010-15 and support the preparation of the commemorative 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India relations to be held in India in the forthcoming December. We highly evaluate the report of the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons that provides and recommends certain measures aimed at further strengthening dialogue partnership between ASEAN and India and elevating it to a higher level. We hope that the negotiation on ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement will soon complete. We welcome the Indian support in the implementation of master plan on ASEAN Connectivity through the establishment of discussion and regular exchange program between officials of the two sides – ASEAN and India – with an aim to coordinate and support the implementation of all projects related to the concept. We have agreed to promote the discussion on development of a highway that will connect between India and ASEAN as well.
- The Fourth ASEAN-US Leaders Summit
We highly appreciate the report of the ASEAN-US Eminent Persons that provides great vision and recommendation for the enhancement of partnership between ASEAN and US to a strategic level in 2015. The Summit supports the proposal for the expedition of implementation of Action Plan for profound ASEAN-US partnership in the course of world peace, stability and long-term prosperity. We welcome the US continuing financial and technical support for the building of the ASEAN community, the ASEAN Connectivity and the development of Greater Sub-Mekong Region so to further develop the region.
- ASEAN Global Dialogue
Chaired by Cambodia, the ASEAN Global Dialogue has organized for the first time. This high-level dialogue forum is a new achievement of ASEAN. The dialogue has exchanged ideas on how to implement the Phnom Penh Agenda, which includes the ASEAN Connectivity, the financial and technical support on the ASEAN Integration initiative, and the expediting of implementation of projects relating to the narrowing down of gap of development among member countries so to achieve the realization of the ASEAN Community in 2015. In addition to these, the dialogue also has raised high the image and role of ASEAN in discussion and taking part in resolving regional and world challenges. The Summit has proposed organizing such dialogue along with future ASEAN Summits.
- the 7th East Asia Summit
The Summit has discussed and exchanged fruitful ideas in the plenary and closed sessions while adopting the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Initiative for Development and the 7 EAS Declaration on Regional Response to the Management of Malaria and Malaria’s Drug Resistance issue as a whole. The EAS reflects the progress of all six priorities areas – finance, energy, education, bird flu prevention, disaster management and connectivity. We welcomed the promising contributions by members of the EAS in promoting the implementation of the master plan on ASEAN Connectivity. We have agreed with and welcomed the promising support of the member countries of the EAS to continue to strengthen cooperation of the ASEAN Centre for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance in effectively managing disaster.
- The Announcement of the Launch of Negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
Particularly, after the conclusion of the 7th East Asia Summit, leaders of ASEAN and of six ASEAN partnering countries of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreements – Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand – have announced the official launch of the commencement of negotiations for regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. That is to expand the ASEAN Free Trade Area Plus One, and to advance and effectuate further the agreement.
These are important points that I would like to underline and share with all of you. I am sure some of the leaders had shared some of the issues with some of you already. I would take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation and thanks for the efforts made by all officials from every related institutions, namely the political and security council, the economic council, the social and cultural council for their efforts over the last one year so that everything for this meeting could be possible, and a success. I also owe this success to higher restraint and understanding of all ASEAN member countries as well as its partners.
I would express my deep thanks to all who worked for this Summit facility, including also the security and protocol staff. Without a strong security, it would be difficult to host an event in which Heads of States and Governments of many countries, including also the powerful nations, participated. It has been a period of exhaustion and I would take this moment to express my sincere thanks for participation of the people in the whole country, especially those living in Phnom Penh for their understanding of the gravity of the event and for taking their pride as host. It is not me or the Royal Government, as I have made it clear, that chaired ASEAN but the whole people of Cambodia did. The people in Phnom Penh should be proud of being host nation.
I would share this prideful achievement with Buddhist monks and our people and state that this is possible because of our joint efforts. I also have the need to express my thanks and appreciation for the media – local and international, especially those locally, for relaying the live broadcast of the events from the TVK Channel of all the news in a timely manner.
I would take this solemn occasion to report to Preah Karuna HM as well as HM the Queen-Mother, who are in condolence over the death of the late King-Father, the great results of the event. HM the King and the HM the Queen-Mother also graciously received heads of states and Governments who had come to pay respects to the late King-Father – Preah Borom Ratna Kaod – that is laid in state. In this auspicious moment, I would like to report to the soul of Samdech Ov, whose new title now is Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod, of the great works his children have just fulfilled. Some of the works that Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod did not have the chance to finish, his children have now filled it. It reminded me always of Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod when leaders of all countries expressed condolences over the loss of HM the King-Father in their speeches.
May I apology to all media personnel that I do not have the strength to take up your questions. I am so exhausted. I stayed very late last night too. Normally I am a man who would take just any questions. I could go on for five hours at a time. Now, as I said, I am so exhausted and I have nothing more to give you but my written speech. I am so sorry that I could not hold back my tears when I mentioned about Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod. You all may know that Samdech Ov, Preah Bomrom Ratanak Kaod, always wanted to see honor bestowing upon his nation. It is happening while he is laying in state. I wish his soul could see all this./.