(i) Personal Information
Born on August 5, 1952 (officially on April 4th, 1951) in Peam Koh Sna Commune, Stoeung Trang District of Kampong Cham Province, upon completion of his local primary schooling, in 1965 Hun Sen came to Phnom Penh to continue his secondary education in the Lycée Indra Devi. He resided in Neakavoan Pagoda.
In 1970 Cambodia was plunged into war. Responding to the appeal of Prince Sihanouk to Cambodians to join the war against the imperialists, at the age of 18, Hun Sen joined the struggle movement, which liberated the country on April 17, 1975.
One day before the victory, on April 16, 1975, Hun Sen was wounded in the left eye. Recovered from months of treatment, on January 5, 1976, he married Bun Rany. They have six children – 1) Hun Komsot (November 10, 1976 – deceased), 2) Hun Manet (October 20, 1977), 3) Hun Mana (September 15, 1980), 4) Hun Manit (October 17, 1981), 5) Hun Mani (November 27, 1982) and 6) Hun Mali (December 30, 1983).
(ii) Political Careers
Witnessing the Pol Pot regime’s policy of genocide, in 1977 he left his beloved family again to lead a movement aimed at liberating Cambodia and its people from the genocidal regime. In 1978, Hun Sen became a founding member of the United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea (UFNSK). In collaboration with other patriotic movements and with the support of Vietnamese volunteer forces, on January 7, 1979, the UFNSK rescued Cambodia and its people from the genocidal regime of Democratic Kampuchea.
From 1979 to 1993, Hun Sen held various positions in the Cambodian administrations – the People’s Republic of Kampuchea and then the State of Cambodia. As Foreign Minister in 1979, as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister from 1981 to 1985, and then as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister from 1985 to 1991, Hun Sen brought about several remarkable achievements, laying the basis for the implementation of peace, national reconciliation, and the development of Cambodia. Through his willing contribution and efforts, Hun Sen proved an indispensable architect of the Paris Peace Agreement on Cambodia.
As a result of the implementation of the Agreement and the 1993 national elections, from 1993 to 1998 Hun Sen served Cambodia as the Co-Premier and then the second Prime Minister of the first coalition government. In this position, he again proved to be an earnest defender of national achievements and of the Paris Peace Agreement. His achievements in this period included fulfilling commitments to the improvement of rural roads, schools, dispensaries and healthcare centers, and access to clean water, while carrying out the win-win policy which ends the Khmer Rouge’s threat and unifies Cambodia.
In July 1998, the general election brought victory to the Cambodian People’s Party, of which Hun Sen is the Vice President. He became the sole Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, leading the second coalition government of the two major parties – the CPP and FUNCINPEC – and solemnly declared his Government to be an “economy-oriented government.” Under his leadership Cambodia became the 10th member of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Samdech Hun Sen, as the candidate of the Cambodian People’s Party for the post of Prime Minister, again led the CPP to a victory in the July-2003 general elections. After eleven months of political difficulties, once more he succeeded in forming a coalition with FUNCINPEC. On July 15, 2004, under a new law allowing for a package vote, the National Assembly re-elected him as Prime Minister, and ratified the third-term coalition Government between the Cambodian People’s Party and FUNCINPEC.
On July 16, 2004, in his capacity as the Prime Minister of the Royal Government in the third legislature of the National Assembly, Samdech Hun Sen declares the Royal Government’s “Rectangular Strategy” for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency – in addition to the Triangular Strategy put out in the previous term.
On November 23, 2005, the CPP Congress issued its resolution to unanimously nominate its Vice President Samdech Hun Sen as the candidate for the post of Prime Minister for the fourth legislature of the National Assembly.
On September 25, 2008, after winning the general elections of July 27, 2008 in which the Cambodian People’s Party won 90 from the 123 seats in the National Assembly, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen has been re-elected by the Fourth Legislature of the National Assembly and approved by HM the King, Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdech Preah Bâromneath Norodom Sihamoni, as Prime Minister for the next five-year term (2008-2013).
On September 23, 2013, Samdech Techo Hun Sen is re-elected by the Fifth Legislature of the National Assembly and approved by HM the King, Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdech Preah Bâromneath Norodom Sihamoni, as Prime Minister for the next five-year term (2013-2018). In the 28 July 2013 general elections, the Cambodian People’s Party won a majority of 68 seats in the 123-seat National Assembly.
On 20 June 2015, the 38th Congress of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) Central Committee of the fifth mandate elected Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen directly and in secret ballots as its President in replacement of the late Samdech Akka Moha Thamma Pothisal Chea Sim.
(iii) Education Achievements, Titles, Awards and Medals
For his great efforts and contributions to national reconciliation, peace, and the socio-economic development of Cambodia, Hun Sen is awarded the title of Samdech by His Majesty the King Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk on February 1, 1994.
He has a B.A. in Politics from the Cambodian Tertiary Education, a Ph.D. in Political Science from the National Political Academy in Hanoi (1991), and two Honorary Doctorates — a Ph. D. in Politics from the Southern California University for Professional Studies, USA (1995), and a Ph.D. of Law from IOWA Wesleyan College, USA (1996).
On December 02, 1996 the World Peace Academy presented Samdech Hun Sen with the World Peace Award. As the sixth person, and the first in South Asia, to attain this honorable award, the Academy conferred three titles on Samdech Hun Sen — 1) the Human Cultural Asset, 2) the Roving Ambassador for Peace, and 3) the World Peace Congressman.
On April 10, 2001 in Seoul, the Awarding Committee of Graduate School of Dankook University in South Korea bestowed the Honorary Doctorate in Political Sciences upon Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen in recognition of contributions to the recovery of peace and stability in Cambodia, the improvement of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and the Republic of Korea, and his efforts towards East-Asian cooperation.
On November 15, 2001 Samdech Hun Sen was bestowed with the Honorary Doctorate Degree of Political Science (Honoris Causa) in the field of Foreign Relations from the University of Ramkhamhaeng, Thailand.
On December 22, 2001 Sri Chinmoy of the International Peace Center presented Samdech Hun Sen with “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” Award. It was presented in recognition of achievements scored by Samdech Hun Sen both in quantitative and qualitative terms. Sri Chinmoy refers to Samdech Hun Sen as an instrument selected by the Lord Buddha to save millions of people of Cambodia from deaths, to provide them with education, food and shelters, to build them schools, hospitals and water canals, and to lead Cambodia into ASEAN.
On August 6, 2002 Samdech Hun Sen was admitted as a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of the Russian Federation and was conferred with a medal in recognition of his leadership in bringing peace, stability and socio-economic development for Cambodia.
On September 04, 2002 the Committee of ASEAN Engineering Federation (AFF) presented Samdech Hun Sen with the title of “ASEAN Distinguished Honorary Fellow Member” — the AEF’s highest honorary title and the first one ever presented. This is to recognize his national consciousness and leadership ability in ending civil war, carrying all-field rehabilitation and development, and giving opportunity to Cambodian engineers to take part in the process of national reconstruction and development.
On April 10, 2004 the governors and the senate of the Irish International University of the European Union confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science upon Samdech Hun Sen in recognition of his contributions and achievement, and honor Samdech with the Medal of Excellence 2004.
On July 09, 2004 in recognition of his contribution to and achievements in the defense, construction and development of Cambodia, his proven leadership with advanced political sciences, of reforms in all fields, especially in high education, and in maintaining the national reconciliation, stability, peace and regional integration, the University of Cambodia grants Samdech Hun Sen the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Political Sciences.
On September 15, 2004 Samdech Hun Sen has been accepted and sworn in as a member of the Bar Association of Cambodia.
On September 06, 2005 once again, in deepest admiration for Samdech Hun Sen’s tireless service for the progress of Cambodia and the entire ASEAN nations, Sri Chinmoy Centers International presented Samdech with its highest award — the U Thant Peace Award.
On March 21, 2006 during the official visit to the Republic of Korea, the Soon Chun Hyang University in Seoul conferred Samdech Hun Sen an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science to signify his leading contribution in the reconstruction of and devoting physical and spiritual efforts for peace and prosperity in Cambodia and South East Asia as a whole, and particularly in promoting friendly relations with the Republic of Korea.
On June 28, 2006 in appreciation and tribute to Samdech Hun Sen’s various important contributions to the world of education, his reassuring determination for the well being of his people and the vast improvement of Cambodia-Thailand relations, the Council of Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University unanimously resolved to confer on HE Samdech Hun Sen the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education for Locality Development in recognition of his role in developing the country through education and in contributing to strengthen the good relations between the two countries.
On January 29, 2007 thanks to the contribution for socio-economic development of Cambodia which has resulted in its rapid and multi-faceted development in the recent years, the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam, along with the Hanoi National University of Education confers upon Samdech Hun Sen the University’s Honorable PhD Degree (the Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa) in Education.
On July 27, 2007, the Association of Certified Commercial Diplomats (ACCD), City of London, England, the first independent international Professional Body of Certified Diplomats, admits Samdech Hun Sen to the rank, privileges, distinction and status of “Chartered Diplomat” with perpetual right to append the letters “C Dipl” in response to his success and fulfillment of ACCD’s prescribed requirements through integrity, commitment and outstanding achievements in Diplomacy and Peace Building.
On September 21, 2007, once again, The Association of Certified Commercial Diplomats (ACCD) awards Samdech Hun Sen C Dipl its Honorary Fellowship of Companion of Commercial Diplomacy.
On October 12, 2007, Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdech Preah Bâromneath Norodom Sihamoni Nai Preah Reacheanachakr Kampuchea (or His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia) bestowed upon Samdech Hun Sen the title of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen for the understanding that Samdech is a distinguished leader, loved by his people, who leads the country according to the 1993-Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, brings about national peace, stability, unity, economics and development in all sectors, defends democracy and achieves positive international cooperation, maintains and defends national independence, territorial integrity in accordance with the prospect of Sangkum Reast Niyum, while taking the lead in building and broadening respect and progress for Buddhism and other religions, having loyalty to the throne, and defending justice for the sustainability of the monarchy in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
On January 7, 2008 Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen is presented by the International Parliamentary for Safety and Peace (IPSP) with the titles – Senator for Life, and Ambassador at Large to the World Presidency, and by the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica its title Honorable Professor of Diplomatic and International Relations in respect of the talent and aptitude that Samdech Techo Hun Sen bravely stood up in the twentieth century to save millions of human lives, pooled together charitable and personal efforts to liberate them from hardships, while maintaining prosperity, freedom and happiness, and, for the January-7 Victory, providing the Cambodian people with futures, strong culture and democracy.
On November 25, 2008, in Vientiane, Lao PDR, President Choummaly Sayasone awards Samdech Techo Hun Sen – the Lao national gold medal – in recognition of his efforts in enhancing relations, creating good conditions and developing economies, societies and cultures between Laos and Cambodia.
On January 07, 2009, Phnom Penh, the Graduate School Committee of the Woosuk University confers Prime Minister Hun Sen the degree of doctor of Economics, Honoris Causa, in recognition of his distinguished contributions towards the improvement of the economic cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the Kingdom of Cambodia.
On June 03, 2009, Seoul, the Graduate School Committee of Korea University decides to confer upon Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen – who has served humanity greatly as a statesman and politician – an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Political Science for his important role in the national movement for the liberation of Cambodia, the national reconciliation and peace, the contribution to the political, diplomatic and economic development of Cambodia, as well as the promotion of friendly relations and economic cooperation between Cambodia and Korea.
On December 21, 2009, Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdech Preah Bâromneath Norodom Sihamoni Nai Preah Reacheanachakr Kampuchea (or His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia) bestows the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces‘ Top Rank of Five (Gold) Star General upon Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen for the understanding that Samdech Techo is a distinguished leader, loved by his people, who leads the country according to the 1993-Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia; brings about national peace, stability, unity, economics and development in all sectors; defends democracy and achieves positive international cooperation; maintains and defends national independence, territorial integrity in accordance with the prospect of Sangkum Reast Niyum; while taking the lead in building and broadening respect and progress for Buddhism and other religions; having loyalty to the throne; and defending justice for the sustainability of the monarchy in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
On April 3, 2010, In recognition of concrete achievements in policy implementation for national liberation, national defense, and in bringing real peace for the nation, while possessing invaluable qualifications in providing Cambodia and its people with great benefits in the field of scientific research and studies, Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdech Preah Bâromneath Norodom Sihamoni Nai Preah Reacheanachakr Kampuchea (His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia) appoints Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen as the full member of the Royal Academy of Cambodia with the title of Academician. As of April 1, 2011, Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdech Preah Bâromneath Norodom Sihamoni Nai Preah Reacheanachakr Kampuchea appoints Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen as Honorary President of Academician Members of the Royal Academy of Cambodia.
On 9 September 2015, in acknowledgement and appreciation of the unique leadership with wisdom, of peace and reconciliation, and construction of the country, with sacrifices and great successes in changing Cambodia, the senior leaders and board members of the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia, awarded Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen its Honorary Doctorate in “Transformational Leadership.”
15 October 2015 – On the sideline of an official visit to China to attend a number of forums and conferences, Samdech Techo Hun Sen was awarded an Honorary Doctor Degree of Literature by the China’s Guangxi University for Nationalities in recognition of Samdech Techo’s effort to excel in leadership, unify the country and foster a strong relationship between China and Cambodia.
On 29 March 2016, in universal recognition of achievements in the course of building peace and development of Cambodia from below zero to the present progress, especially press freedom for wider circulation and broadcast, in print or online, the Union Media of ASEAN presented Samdech Techo Hun Sen with its Peace and Development Award.
On 22 June 2016, in sign of appreciation for his exceptional merits in asserting the values of community tourist, environmental protection, preservation of historical patrimony and supporting community progress via tourism, encouraging sustainable development and an open, fair, green, secure and culture based environment in The Kingdom of Cambodia, for his commitment in cooperating with European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) and for his support towards a sustainable, ethic and open world tourism, the European Tourism Academy awarded Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN the title of Academician Member of Honor.
On 6 August 2016, in Vientiane of LPDR, the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) presented Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen “the ASEAN Lifetime Achievement Award.” The Award acknowledges his long lasting role as head of government among countries in ASEAN, his sacrifices to bring about peace, national unity, and reconciliation, elimination of the Khmer Rouge regime of genocide, and political and socio-economic development of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Award also presents ASLI’s recognition of the contribution Samdech Techo made for progress and development of the ASEAN community.
On 25 January 2017, the International Olympic Committee rewarded the “IOC President’s Trophy” to Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen in recognition of his outstanding contributions and efforts toward sports development in Cambodia as well as promotion of the Olympic Movement to build a peaceful and better world through sports and Olympic ideals.
On 9 December 2017, at the Peace Palace, the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) bestowed upon Samdech Techo Hun Sen the title of “Global Ambassador for Tourism and Sustainable Development Goals” in recognition of his leadership and ruling to keep Cambodia’s peace, security and stability, which attract increasing number of tourists. Along with this event, Phnom Penh is recognized as “World Capital of Culture and Tourism.”