Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests and participants of the conference!
I am pleased to be here again with Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen all levels of officials of the Ministry of Interior in the 2011 Stocktaking and 2012 Direction-Setting Conference. Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to congratulate and highly appreciate all levels of officials, both of the national police of Cambodia and civil administration division as well as all levels of sub-national administration that have made great effort to achieve noticeable achievements for the nation and the people. At the same time, I would like to declare my full support of the spirit and direction for the year 2012 set by the conference in order to ensure that we continuously maintain peace, political stability, sovereignty and manageable social order nationwide.
Overall, I am of the view that this annual conference has explicitly brought lessons, experiences and recommendations for the effective and efficient execution of various strategic policies, action plans and measures in 2012. Obviously, this regular conference gives us opportunity to review past activities in order to learn from each other and discuss and exchange ideas to identify strengths, weaknesses and constraints, lay down measures and set direction for the coming year. In this regard, I give my full support to and further encourage the management and all levels of officials of the Ministry of Interior to successfully carry on your duties and realize more achievements to contribute to accelerating economic growth and social development and improving security and social order in the nation.
I take note of the some major achievements in 2011 that were foundation for the stable social environment and enable us to lay out effective policies and key measures. Taking this opportunity, I would like to emphasize our major achievements as follows:
First, in 2011, the national police force, in cooperation with other competent authorities, handled countless social issues by producing enormous achievements, including maintaining national security and public order and better social safety nationwide in consistent with the progress and development of the nation. Among those, the police force continue to be core in public movement to implement “Safe Village-Commune Policy”by successfully reducing the number of law-violating cases by 8% in 2011, of which criminal cases declined by 13%. Along with this, the success of cracking down crimes and capturing criminal shows higher effectiveness of the national police force.
Second, the national police force had cooperated with the courageous Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and strictly obeyed orders of the Government to protect territorial integrity and sovereignty and maintain border security and enhance development cooperation along the border with neighboring countries. At the same time, the national police force are now ready to take over border guard duties from armed forces at order to take control of no-military zone in order to implement decision made by International Court of Justice.
Third, our country was hit by severe flooding in 2011, which adversely affected people’s livelihoods and welfares in many provinces. Faced with this issue, all levels of sub-national authorities worked closely with relevant government organizations, national and international organizations, friend nations and non-government organization to take urgent actions to rescue the people and successfully handle all problems during and after the flood crisis. As a result, socio-economic condition and livelihoods of the flood-affected people have returned to its normality.
Fourth, within the coordination of the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development, relevant ministries/institutions and all levels of sub-national administrations have seriously strived to implement first year action plan of the first 3-year implementation plan of the ten-year concentration and deconcentration reform program in accordance with the principle of sub-national democratic development. In 2011, the reform program reorganized the structure and governance system at the sub-national level in accordance with the principle of sub-national democratic development for the capital, municipalities, provinces and district/khans nationwide. Seven thousand civil servants have been integrated into the new structure, with training and capacity building programs designed for officials of those councils and provincial administrations.
Fifth, in spite of the reconfiguration of the structure and governance system at sub-national administrations, there is no impact on coordination, delivery of public services, development and handling of challenges at each sub-national administration because we have well prepared each implementation stage in advance. This achievement has contributed to successfully address urgent tasks of the Government in order to respond to the requirement of national socio-economic development.
Sixth, the Ministry of Interior has strived to accomplish lots of achievements in areas of facilitating associations, non-governmental organizations, political parties, election registration and vote, organizing election, improving prison management, organizing regulatory framework, as well as participating in various inter-ministerial mechanisms to improve democracy, the state of law and respect for human rights, and participating in strengthening justice system, providing public services and developing socio-economy.
Through these concerted efforts and above achievements, they had significantly contributed to overall achievement made by the Royal Government in 2011. Obviously, Cambodia has made a strong and sustained recovery from the crisis, with a return to annual GDP growth of almost 7 per cent. Growth for 2011 has recently been revised upward from 6.4% to 7.0% of GDP. The future outlook for Cambodia is positive – the economy is projected to grow between 6% and 7% annually over the medium term. Within this growth rate we expect that we can maintain poverty reduction of 1% per annum.
Although the Ministry of Interior had made great achievement in 2011, the needed development has created new challenges, which require us to make more concerted efforts to handle them in 2012, as the annual report highlighted and comments intervened by participants of the conference. In parallel, for the year 2012, more jobs need to be carried out in order to attain safety, stability and sustainable progress of all sectors because in 2012 Cambodia will prepare for the third mandate of district-commune council elections that takes place in three months, which is on Sunday 3rd June 2012, and prepare other necessary tasks for the national election next year. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my admiration for the national police force and all other armed forces that play part in the successful organization of the free, fair, just and safe election of Senate for the third mandate, which was held at the end of last month. Along with this, in 2012 Cambodia will be the Chair of ASEAN. In this capacity, our country will host many meetings of ASEAN including the ASEAN Leader Summit with members’ country and with leader of other countries that are ASEAN’s partners. All these important tasks will create more obligations for all armed forces, in particular the Ministry of Interior, which needs to increase the attention and strengthen the spirit.
In addition, based on the situation in 2011 we can say that internal Peace, Safety, Social order, and Stability (4S) are still fragile, and external situations such as global and regional safety, international terrorism, cross-border drug and human trafficking, violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty etc. are out of our control. In this spirit, the Ministry of Interior, authorities at all levels of the sub-national administrations and all police forces need to strengthen the spirit and overcome all the challenges in order to fulfill their respective duties with transparency, accountability, and confidence for our nation and people.
In this spirit, in order to achieve the prime duties above and other goals of the Ministry of Interior discussed in the conference, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to recommend important policies and principles as follows:
First, The Ministry of Interior and the police force at all levels need to be well-prepared to ensure a safe and peaceful environment with social order in order to ensure that the third mandate of district-commune council election and the fifth mandate of national assembly election will be conducted in a safe, free, fair and just environment.
Second, Along with strengthening peace and stability, we need to increase our efforts in keeping peace, social order and public order in society in order to ensure good environment for development and future elections and to provide safety protections for the delegations of ASEAN member countries, ASEAN partner countries and other ASEAN meetings that will take place in our country. The enhancement of the capability of the police needs to proceed with the same pace of the public movement; the people need to involve with keeping security protection and public order in each locality. In this regard, I would like to encourage the national police force, all levels of local authorities, as well as relevant ministries, institutions and other stakeholders to continue carrying out the safe district-commune policy more actively and vigorously like endless drizzling across the country by working hard to support, promote and strengthen the capacity of the authorities of districts, communes, villages, police force, communal and district level administrations, as so that they can perform their tasks with ownership and as their routine jobs.
Third, In 2011, robbery and manslaughter cases declined remarkably, but the number and nature of the acts still worry the people. Along with this, the number of cases increased in Phnom Penh capital and other urban areas. At the same time, the number of people suspected of committing the crimes is quite high, and is on the run. In addition, the number of rape and murder cases, and forced sexual intercourse cases is on a rising trend every year. These cases require national police force and other responsible armed forces, and all levels of authorities and relevant entities to pay attention on more in-depth research studies in order to find the root causes and solutions by preparing appropriate action plans under the framework of specialized tasks, social management, public movement, and cooperation among entities implementing laws, relevant authorities and others with the aim to work together to address and minimize these law-violating acts uniformly at all local areas nationwide.
Fourth, Regarding illegal drug trafficking, in 2011, the number of crack-downs increased two-folds and suspect arrests increased three-folds compared to 2010. Based on these figures, we can see that trafficking, distribution, and use of drugs remains a complicated problem for our country. This problem requires all drug-related authorities and competent forces to tighten cooperation under the framework of respective responsibilities, and regional and global cooperation. This also must go along with promoting public movement and engaging the public in our effort to prevent and fight against major drug trading networks to the roots in order for us to achieve a highly effective operation against addicted drugs and eradicate the suffering of people who are drug addicts in our society. In this sense, all anti-drug national police force and armed forces must have absolute strict stance by not letting any inactiveness in competence force and continue encouraging participation of organizations, associations for more fruitful rehabilitation.
Fifth, we must take more effective measures and activities against human trafficking, labor exploitation and sex trafficking of women and children which remains very daunting challenges in our society. For the last several years, because of government’s open policy for employment abroad, as result there emerges a number of issues faced by our workers who are victimized by human trafficking, illegal job, labor exploitation and torture both domestically and abroad. To address these issues, it requires clear systematic inter-institutional cooperation in line with upgrading professional skill of law enforcing forces and authorities in charge as well as to raise awareness for the people and promoting collaboration with private sector, civil society, and better and efficient cooperation with intentional organizations and foreign countries. At the same time, Ministry of Interior must continue good cooperation with friend countries, international and national organizations and promoting sense of responsibility to better prevent all kinds of cross-border criminal acts.
Sixth, the number of death and injury caused by accidents has been ever-increasing form year to year. Based on conference report, accidents caused 3600 deaths and over 10 thousands injuries in 2011. Accidents that are the most complicated are related to traffic, fire and UXOs. Among those, traffic accident alone had claimed 1800 lives, a 15% increase compared to 2010. Regarding this case, commanders for implementing road traffic law must conduct rigorous and in-depth review to identity challenges, causes and appropriate solutions aiming at jointly formulating national strategy and plan of actions for short term, from medium to long term, in order to reduce traffic accident in our country at maximum possible.
Seventh, the Ministry of Interior must continue strengthening all levels of national police force by raising institutional capacity and human resource following social and economic evolution and current of globalization, rapidly advancing technology. Bolstering professional skill for police force must go hand-in-hand with promoting moral, cleanness, loyalty with high professional ethics. In order to promote dignity of law enforcing and competence force in society, to ensure effectiveness in cracking down any crime in society, all law enforcing force and competence in charge must not use their profession to cover up offences, protect offenders, and isolate yourself from criminal gangs, crime mastermind and any illegal act.
Eight, we must continue implementing decentralization and decentralization reform in accordance with principle of sub-national democratic development aiming at enhancing local governance, which a reform program contributing to strengthening good governance. Because of Royal Government’s strong political determination, this reform has reached a new phase which is even more sensitive and complex. In particular, two draft sub-decrees have recently been submitted for my approval and signature, including the draft sub-decree on the conduct of District/Municipality Fund and draft sub-decree on delegation of function and resources to sub-national administration. Generally speaking, any task requires support, cooperation and compliment between national and sub-national level.
Ninth, in parallel with other reform programmes, all levels of sub-national administration must promote the sense of responsibility in coordinating service delivery and local development with highest transparency and accountability. Moreover, all capital and provincial authorities must cooperate with relevant ministries-institutions, authorities to answer to requests and complaints of the people in their respective jurisdiction. In order to vigorously manage these works, each capital and province must prepare report on each case of unsolved land conflicts for National Committee for Land Conflict Resolution and ministries-agencies concerned for them to urgently prepare action plan for transparent resolution. In addition, with regard to solving land conflict, I would like to request all stakeholders to be patient, and must absolutely avoid using force and violence which make problems further complicated, both in terms of conflict resolution and social stability. Furthermore, the Ministry of Interior and General Commissariat of National Police must make effort to promote responsiveness and be standby 24/24 hours in order to receive request from the people. Moreover, you must develop national police force and civil official in terms of virtue, moral, and loyalty to the nation, people, especially being loyal to profession, as well as regular skill upgrading as truely people-serving officials.
Through what have been mentioned, I strongly hope that the conference will take these recommendations as spirit in fulfilling functions and duties in line with goals that the conference laid out for 2012 to maximize our national interest. Once again, I would like to appeal to Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen and the whole conference must actively implement and dynamically as what is planned as well as to share information, knowledge, experiences from this conference for improving implementation to make new achievements. in light of this, I would like all the management, officials both police and civil administration of ministry of interior, all levels of sub-national administration, all stakeholders, all ministries-agencies to turn recommendation, ideas and lessons learned from the conference into concrete implementation to successfully ensure security, safety, social order and development. In this sense, I hope and strongly believe that Cambodia make steps forwards with positivism, progress and prosperity on bigger and favorable foundation, along with establishing peace security, political stability, social harmonization and sustainable development.
At the end, together with the “Closing of 2011 Stocktaking and 2012 Direction-Setting Conference” of the ministry of interior now; and I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen who are present at this marvelous occasion the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.