– Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
– Board of Directors of Youth Star Cambodia Organization and All Beloved Volunteers:
Today, I am very pleased and honored to joint Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, national and international guests, all volunteers at the presentation of certificate to the 17 volunteers of Youth Star Cambodia Organization in Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC) here at the Royal Phnom Penh University.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and my own behalf, I would like to congratulate and sincerely appreciate you all, managers of Youth Star Cambodia and volunteers for initiating this bright idea and for your utmost efforts to contribute for rehabilitation and helping rural communes, including improving living standards of population in those areas.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my pride to all 17th volunteers of Youth Star Cambodia, students from various university that have sacrificed their joyfulness, comfort lifestyles for the entire year to live with and help those most vulnerable people in remote rural areas that usually facing many difficulties. This sacrifice made by volunteers can not be measured because this gesture is a contribution to our society and nation as a whole. Indeed, the volunteers have shared their level of education, knowledge and various experiences in order to improve agriculture, animal farming and other agricultural techniques that will enhance daily living standards, contribute to further progress and gradual improvement of our people day by day.
The Pol Pot’s genocidal regime has taught us a bitter lesson of our national history, when they forced Cambodians to give up the value of science, logics, culture and morality and victimized by ignorance, violence and destruction. However, after the 7 January 1979 Liberation, our country was reborn by our will, relying on mutual understanding and working together by ourselves to resolve our problems.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am proud of overcoming through the many very difficult and countless obstacles, and challenges that never had experienced by other countries in the world. Cambodia, however, not only overcoming difficult challenges but also has been able to regain her sovereignty as an equal member of the regional and international community. This achievement is very special for Cambodians, who never gave up the hope of standing up in every historical upheavals and drawn historical lessons for consideration and finding the thoughtful solutions. The “Win-Win” strategy of the Royal Government is an example. As a result, we have reclaim peace, stability and public order which are the foundation of development, poverty reduction, institutional building, rights, freedom and dignities of human as well as democracy.
Presently, beside macroeconomic stability and growth momentum that have been robustly strengthened, these progresses have enable Cambodia to deepen comprehensive reforms that resulted in an annual GDP growth rate at 8% on average.
In 2005, Cambodia economic growth was 13.4% in which 7% was estimated. Even under the unfavorable condition of oil price hike in international market, the Royal Government successfully managed the inflation as low as 6% in 2005. For the year 2006, the inflation rate was 4% and economic growth rate was adjusted to the rate of 9.5% comparing to 5% forecast earlier.
At the same time, promoting sustainable economic growth, the Royal Government of Cambodia also focused on equitable benefit distribution between rich and poor, urban and rural, man and women. The Royal Government has made effort in promoting social and cultural development by opening up opportunities and access to the poor for appropriate education, health care, clean water and hygiene, electricity, rural credits, information and techniques etc.
Moreover, The Royal Government has concentrated public investment in physical infrastructures as priority and also agricultural productivity improvement in order to build a strong foundation for sustainable economic growth. As the result, physical infrastructure and facilities including roads, irrigations, water and electricity supply, and telecommunications were restored and constructed in the country and are playing important role in expanding economic growth.
In fact, the devotion and gesture of the 17 volunteers reflex the active participation in development of our nation the same as the contribution in reducing poverty in rural area which also contributes to implement poverty reduction policy of the Royal Government.
The volunteers work closely with their partners such as village chiefs, commune councils, school directors, business communities and rural people is not only the contribution to the changing of understanding by deeply studying the demand of people at rural community while contributing to the socio-economic development of the nation.
In this spirit, all-out efforts of the volunteers to help farmers finding the ways in improving farming techniques, especially focusing on constructing irrigation, detecting water sources, labor intensification and diversification in order to improve productivity and income of our people. At the same time, following the teaching of these volunteers, small business communities have improved their practices both in management and in finance. Meanwhile, the effort of volunteers in promoting and transferring knowledge, youths and adults have learned the methods and life lessons to progress their lives, ensuring human security, happiness and growth.
It is true that the good motivation of the volunteers exemplify good role model to youths at villages and communes all over the country. Moreover, such gestures could inspire children and youth to give up bad habits and uphold good characters, for instance, cleaning and protecting their community, planting vegetables, trees, advising and encouraging others to go the school and studying hard as well as voluntarily being successor of the previous generation.
At the same times, the lessons and practices that they exercise are practical and reflect the demand, concerns and expectations in which the Royal Government need in order to seek an appropriate and timely solution for our struggling people. Also, it is really good that spirit of patriotism, the spirit of sharing, and spirit of mutual-understanding are developed and nurtured among youth and from the grassroots.
I believe the determinations of our youth could synthesize their strength, talents, spirits, visions and innovations in where the Royal Government of Cambodia seeks effective solutions for the complex issues of our nation. Indeed in all circumstances, especially in the globalization context, the strength or weaknesses of a nation could equally partaking and benefiting from aWin-Win situation of the regional and world affairs depends on the quality of youth’s talents who are the pillars and successor of the nation. The strength or weakness, high quality or inferior of national pillars depends on successor or youthwho are the hope and the future of the nation.
After our Volunteers of Youth Star Cambodia has been successfully working for an entire year, we are waiting to see more progresses in the near future. Certainly, we want to see Youth Star Cambodia exchange their experiences and cooperate with our officials to develop frameworks and policies to create a conducive environment for our youths to link up with private volunteers on national development.
Again, I would like to express my sincere thank to the management of Youth Star Cambodia who initiated this movements and the exemplary spirits of the 17 volunteers who gave up their individual benefits and comforts for a whole year to live and cooperate with all-levels of local authorities in improving living standards of our rural people.
Taking this opportunity, I urge the Youth Star Cambodia and other NGOs to keep up volunteerism and appeal to students all over the country to practice the spirit of sharing, sacrificing-self-interest towards being a good model for the next generation, and participate in national economy development. In addition to this, I also support the suggestions of Ms. Eva Mysliviec, Co-Chair of Youth Star Cambodia, to create annual “Good Citizen Championship” in order to encourage outstanding youths who provide community services to the nation. Finally, I would like to wish you all with five gems of Buddhist Blessing.