Excellency Chairman,
– Your Majesty the Sultan,
-Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all, I would like to express sincere thanks to the EAS member countries for the benevolent humanitarian aid provided to Cambodian people suffering from the recent flooding. I would like to join the ASEAN Leaders in extending a warm welcome to H.E Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America and H.E Dmitry Medvedev, the President of the Russian Federation, who participate for the first time in the East Asia Summit. Cambodia is of the view that the participation of the US and the Russian Federation would further enhance mutual trust and friendship among countries in the region, thereby contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world. At the same time, the presence of the two Countries will make the EAS an integral part of the evolving regional architecture and gain more weight in the international arena.

Although the global economic and financial crisis has passed, the recent uncertainty including the sluggish growth of the US economy, the debt crisis in Europe, the political unrest and conflicts in Middle East and North Africa, coupled with the issue of food and energy price hikes as well as natural disasters in some countries in the region have posed common challenges for East Asian countries. In this context, I think that further strengthening and deepening East Asia cooperation and integration is the best way for all of us to jointly address challenges.

In this spirit, Cambodia supports the institutionalization of the annual meeting of the EAS Foreign Ministers and EAS Senior Official Meetings. At the same time, I am very pleased that “ASEAN Connectivity” has been added as a key priority area to the existing five priority areas of cooperation, namely energy, finance, disaster management, education and avian flu prevention. However, I am of the view that we need to have a concrete work program to implement all these priority areas. ASEAN warmly welcome financial contribution as well as technical assistance from the EAS members for the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and the ASEAN Infrastructure Strategic Plan 2011-2015, which is crucial for narrowing development gaps within ASEAN and constitutes a stepping stone toward East Asian integration in the longer term.

For the above reasons, Cambodia would like to support all initiatives to create the East Asia Free Trade Area and Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia. But this needs to be progressed gradually through the negotiation on the establishment of ASEAN Plus Plus FTA. In this process, given the special conditions of some ASEAN member countries with lower level of development, such as Cambodia, I would like to request our partner countries to consider providing more assistance to these countries, including financial and technical assistance, as well as to provide more preferential rules of origin than the one extended to other partners involving in the establishment of the ASEAN Plus Plus FTA. The provision of more preferential rules of origin than the normal one, similar to those that the EU and Canada are currently granted to Cambodia, will attract more investments to the less developed countries, thus creating jobs, generating incomes, reducing poverty and development gap in ASEAN and between ASEAN and other dialogue partners.

Thank you for your attention!



Remarks at the 6th East Asia Summit (Retreat)
Topic: “Exchange of Views on Regional and International Issues”
Bali, 19th November 2011
(13:55 – 15:15)

– Excellency Chairman,
– Your Majesty the Sultan,
– Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

For this session of the Summit, may now I share with you all some of my views related to our agenda as follows:
I agree with the view that disaster management is a top priority for our region at this critical juncture. Indeed, the recent natural disasters in the region have posed serious challenges that we have to overcome. The natural disasters have not only undermined the social-economic achievements of the affected countries and created more vulnerability for the poor, who are now working very hard to recover their livelihood from the negative impacts of the global economic crisis, but also slow down regional economic growth in the short to medium term. This requires stronger regional cooperation with the view to adopting concrete and urgent measures at national, regional, and international levels to establish an effective early warning system and responsive mechanism to minimize its impacts and prevent the loss of human lives.

In this spirit, the “2009 Cha-am Hua Hin Statement on EAS Disaster Management” should be considered as an excellent mechanism to be built upon to further expand our cooperation in the East Asia region. At the same time, Cambodia would like to encourage the EAS member states to participate in the “ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Program 2010-2015”. In addition, I would like to urge all partners to support the recently established “ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management-AHA Center”in order address natural disasters in the region.

Cambodia commends Indonesia and Australia for initiating the paper on “A Practical Approach to Enhance Regional Cooperation on Disaster Rapid Response”. Cambodia also welcomes Japan’s proposal to hold an international conference in 2012 to share her experiences and lessons learned from the Great Earthquake happened in the eastern part of Japan, as well as to host the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in 2015.

Meanwhile, we have to recognize that disaster management is certainly linked to development and environment. Under these circumstances, I think that development should take into serious consideration the benefits of all riparian countries, both the upstream and downstream countries, as well as the coastal States.

The following paragraph is prepared for the discussion of South China Sea Issue in a case that there is a need to discuss the issue.

{Regarding regional security issue, Cambodia is of the view that the Summit should focus on non-traditional security issues, which is our common concern in the region such as human and illicit arm trafficking, money laundering, piracy etc. Concerning South China Sea issue, Cambodia highly appreciates the adoption of the guideline of Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and encourage full implementation of the guideline in order to seek a peaceful solution to issues in the South China Sea, based on international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)}

Thank you for your attention!