I have a great pleasure to be present at the construction of the new headquarters of the Cambodian Red Cross – another new achievement of the Kingdom of Cambodia. May I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and gratefulness to Chum Teav Bun Rany and the CRC’s leadership of the Cambodian Red Cross for inviting me to the groundbreaking ceremony to build the its new office building today. What impresses me most is the fact that the construction today stemmed from the charity of members of the Cambodian Red Cross who have made contribution for CRC to have an office of its own.
The Cambodian Red Cross bought this land in 1983 at a price of 1200 US$, while in 1979 the price of land in Phnom Penh was nil. If they were to sell out the land at current price, they would be making a lot of money. I have a to express my sincere appreciation for the fact that CRC decided to maintain the land left from the January 7, 1979 up to the present. As is said in her remark the present building is 60 years old and the space has not been adequately responding to CRC needs.
I wish to note that CRC has now become a lively and active organization from top to bottom, while growing bigger year after year. CRC awareness service has been great and drawing attention. CRC activities have been publicized through various TV programs making some of their awareness service effective. Through this I have a strong belief that we will have a strong solidarity force for the sake of humanity.
In fact the origination of the Cambodian Red Cross could not be separated from the efforts made by Samdech Ov – the former Heroic King and Samdech Me – the Heroic Queen – who still preside over as honorary President of CRC. CRC was established in 1955 and operated till 1970. After 1970, CRC operated in towns and cities only. In between 1975 and 1979, CRC was completely dissolved. Under the former State of Cambodia, CRC was again established on May 16, 1979, with HE Phlek Phirun as its President and HE Mei Samedi as its General Secretary. Because the country at that time had more than one faction in the conflict, other factions also have their own CRC service. Under wise leadership of Samdech Ov, the CRC service from all factions have come to one and worked together within the national framework. No one could ever replace this role of our former Heroic King and Heroic Queen.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the assistance provided by CRC on its behalf in resolving difficulties in the country. Tragedy and hardships caused by natural and man-made disasters CRC has always been an effective helping hand. The CRC structure has been effective in resolving demands at the local level in assistance to the central level. The Royal Government of Cambodia is to contribute 30% of the total cost of construction. The good point of CRC has been the fact that all contributors not only those with big contributions, but also those smallest contributions, which have also been declared on TV.
When the construction is done I would urge CRC leadership to invite Samdech Heroic Queen who is the honorary President of the CRC to preside over the inauguration of the new building. If the Heroic Queen were to be absent in the country, the CRC leadership should invite HM the King to do so./.