Your Majesty the Sultan, Esteemed ASEAN Leaders,
Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen,
Distinguished National and International Guests!
On behalf of the Royal Government and People of Cambodia, I would like to warmly welcome Your Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies Heads of State/Government and distinguished delegates of the ASEAN countries to the 20th ASEAN Summit being held in Phnom Penh, the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Royal Government and people of Cambodia have the great honor to once again host this important Summit and we would like to extend our hospitality to Your Majesty, Excellencies, the Leaders of ASEAN as neighbors, friends, brothers and sisters, who have come to the land of Angkor, Kingdom of Cambodia, Kingdom of Wonder, which is full of cultural heritages and valuable ancient temples left by our ancestors thousands of years ago.
After achieving peace and unification of territory which resulted from the Royal Government’s “Win-Win” policy, Cambodia became a full member of ASEAN in 1999. This has allowed Cambodia to integrate with the regional and world economy and play an active and dynamic role as an equal member with equal rights in both regional and international forums. Indeed, in 2002, with the support of the ASEAN countries, Cambodia hosted and successfully chaired the 8th ASEAN Summit. At this time, Cambodia is greatly honored and proud to assume the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2012 with ownership and high responsibility in order to make contribution towards realizing our common goal which is the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015 as stated in the ASEAN Charter.
The 20th ASEAN Summit coincides with the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of ASEAN. Indeed, ASEAN has undergone a major transformation since its founding, from a region wracked by conflict, misery, and poverty to a region of peace, stability and development. After more than four decades of development, ASEAN today has become a closely-integrated political and economic entity, an influential player in Asia and an indispensable strategic partner of major countries and organizations in the world. Cambodia is certainly proud of having made positive contribution to ASEAN according to its capacity and ability in bringing about such progress.
Nevertheless, along with the success and achievements made so far, ASEAN is facing some challenges that need to be addressed in order to realize the objective of “ASEAN: One Community-One Destiny”.
Indeed, uncertain global financial and economic situations, especially the fragility of the economic recovery of developed countries, coupled with severe debt crisis in Europe still pose a great threat to the sustainability of socio-economic development of ASEAN achieved over the last four decades and the success of our effort towards realizing a full ASEAN Community. At the same time, the ongoing social and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa remains a threat to global security and is exerting an upward pressure on the already high oil prices. In addition to these new uncertainties, the world continues to be faced with several intransigent issues and challenges, such as food security, energy, climate change, natural disasters, terrorism, trans-national crime, and maritime safety, among others.
Within the region, although the development gap among ASEAN members has been noticeably narrowed, it is still huge. This requires us to double our efforts to promote further growth and improve equitable distribution of the fruits of growth at both national and regional among member countries. Indeed, narrowing such development gaps is not only a pre-condition for ensuring ASEAN competitiveness and reducing poverty of our people but also for helping ASEAN achieve real regional integration and promoting its centrality in broader regional and world affairs.
Indeed, these challenges can hardly be addressed effectively at national level. This requires a more cooperative and comprehensive approach, particularly through regional cooperation. I believe ASEAN will be able to forge a regional consensus on the resolution of outstanding issues. This belief is based on the experience of more than four decades which proved that ASEAN has adequate ability to strengthen stability and security in the region towards achieving inclusive economic growth and becoming an increasingly “people-centered” community. This is consistent with the selection of our theme “ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny”, for ASEAN in 2012 which highlights the joint determination and cooperation of the ASEAN people to work in chorus to build the ASEAN Community as a cohesive family, living in political, security, economic and socio-cultural harmony, and is rules-based, peaceful and economically strong.
In the spirit of making more positive contribution to the effort of ASEAN Community building, and overcoming all the above mentioned challenges, as the Chair of ASEAN, I would like to put forward, for the consideration of all ASEAN Leaders, the “Phnom Penh Agenda” which spells out our priorities for 2012 as follows:
First, in the context of the continued global financial and economic uncertainty, ASEAN must pay special attention to strengthening the mechanism for ensuring financial stability in the region as well as for preventing and resolving future crises that may occur in the world or the region. In this mechanism the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) is the most important instrument. Therefore, we should encourage our Finance Ministers to work together, and with the partners concerned to achieve an agreement or concrete commitment of all member countries to strengthening and doubling the size of the current mechanism from USD 120 billion to USD 240 billion as soon as possible.
Second, we have to ensure the timely implementation of the Roadmap for ASEAN Community building (2009-2015), particularly the implementation of all action plans of the three pillars by accelerating the adoption and the ratification of the remaining agreements and protocols as soon as possible. Moreover, we have to pay special attention to narrowing development gaps among members of ASEAN through reviewing the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan II (2009-2015), so that we can identify challenges and lay out additional measures to accelerate implementation. In this regard, we should select some projects related to the new members of ASEAN from the Work Plan and implement them as ASEAN flagship projects immediately in order to achieve concrete results as soon as possible.
Third, we should place priority on the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, to transform ASEAN as a single market and production base, with free flow of goods, services, investment, and skilled labor. Therefore, we must lay out priority actions and key concrete measures to address all the challenges and bridge the gaps which are the obstacles for the realization of ASEAN Economic Community as planned. For this purpose, we should encourage ASEAN Economic Ministers to closely cooperate with the “Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia” in carrying out a comprehensive study to generate inputs for necessary measures to be taken to close the implementation gaps including the strengthening of institutional capacity and coordination, which could impede the realization of the AEC by 2015.
Fourth, the connectivity of ASEAN in both physical and institutional infrastructure is the key for narrowing the development gap and ensuring successful integration of ASEAN. To achieve this objective we have adopted the “Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity”. We need to promote the speedy implementation of the Master Plan. For this purpose, priority should be given to establishing a financing mechanism which involves: (1) attracting major partners of ASEAN and facilitating coordination among them for establishing an official mechanism for realizing this objective, and (2) promoting the expansion of ASEAN Infrastructure Fund which has been newly established with the support of ADB, through mobilizing the participation of major partners of ASEAN, particularly the Plus Three partners. Moreover, we have also to seek effective means to encourage the participation of the private sector in implementing this Master Plan.
Fifth, free flow of skilled labor is the primary characteristic of ASEAN Economic Community. Even though this goal has not been fully achieved, indeed the exchange of labor among ASEAN countries has already been robust. This highlights the need for strengthening cooperation among ASEAN members in order to protect the rights of migrant workers. ASEAN has already started working on this issue, but has yet to come to any specific agreement on implementation. Therefore, we should include this issue as a priority in our agenda and agree on some concrete measures in 2012 for implementation.
Sixth, disaster management has become an important contemporary issue both in the region and the world. This issue has been highlighted by the episodes of severe flooding in the ASEAN countries at the end of last year. For the objective of strengthening disaster management, ASEAN has adopted some key institutional mechanisms including the establishment of the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA-Center) last year. However, this mechanism is not fully functional due to some remaining technical issues that need to be addressed including the financing problems. Hence, we should consider this as an urgent priority for promoting the effective functioning of the regional disaster management mechanism.
Seventh, climate change and the frequent occurrences of natural disasters have made food security a primary challenge for ASEAN and the world. Based on the performance and potential of agricultural sector in the region, ASEAN has not only been able to ensure food security for the region, but can do so for the world. To realize this potential we need to further promote cooperation in the agriculture sector by focusing on boosting productivity and agriculture diversification through addressing a range of problems including infrastructure, technology, financing, marketing, and processing of agricultural products for the region and for export to the rest of the world. Specifically, there are some countries in ASEAN that export milled rice while some others import it. This would open an important opportunity for rice trade cooperation to ensure regional food security through establishing a common agreement in our region. I think that ASEAN Leaders should encourage relevant ministers and senior officials especially our economic and agriculture ministers to conduct studies and propose practical cooperation initiatives on this issue.
Apart from the above priority agenda, we still have many other challenging issues that need to be jointly addressed in order to bring about progress and prosperity for our people and to promote ASEAN’s prestige in the international arena. In relation to this, there are some initiatives that we have already started working on and which need to be completed as soon as possible. Indeed, in order to realize the ASEAN Community by 2015, cooperation at government level alone is not sufficient. This requires a broader participation of relevant stakeholders at all levels, particularly the support and participation of ASEAN people as a whole. In this sense, ASEAN Leaders’ dialogue with the ASEAN Inter-parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), representatives of civil society organizations and youth representatives is another integral part of our effort to transform ASEAN into a people-centered community and increase its relevance for the ASEAN people.
At the end, I would like to stress that it has been more than 10 years since Cambodia became a full member of ASEAN. We are proud that during this period Cambodia was able to make considerable progress. ASEAN membership has allowed Cambodia to strengthen integration with the region and the international community. At the same time, Cambodia has been strictly fulfilling her role in ASEAN to build a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious regional community, as well as transform ASEAN into a model of regional cooperation with global importance. As the Chair of ASEAN in 2012, Cambodia will make utmost effort within its capacity to closely cooperate with other member countries for achieving various priorities of ASEAN toward the building of “ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny”. I strongly believe that the “Phnom Penh Agenda” as outlined above will help bring ASEAN even closer toward achieving this goal. I sincerely hope that all esteemed Leaders of ASEAN will extend cooperation for ensuring the success of the implementation of the proposed agenda.
Finally, I would like to wish Your Majesty the Sultan,Excellencies the esteemed Leaders of ASEAN and distinguished delegates of all ASEAN countries good health and success in all your endeavors and the 20th ASEAN Summit be crowned with bright success. May I now announce the official opening of the 20th ASEAN Summit!
Phnom Penh, Peace Building, 04 April 2012
Your Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies ASEAN Leaders,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
I would like to warmly welcome you again to this Retreat. This forum has become our tradition to exchange frank and candid views on pertinent issues, which may have impact on peace, security, stability and prosperity in our region. Indeed, the potential implications may look simple, but the preparation, management and mechanism to solve these problems are by no means simple. For that reason, we are required to make further concerted effort to ensure a favorable environment conducive to the realization of the common vision of establishing the ASEAN Community by 2015.
For this morning’s retreat, we have 3 important agenda items for discussion namely:
Agenda 1– Exchange of Views on International and Regional Issues
Agenda 2– Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC)
Agenda 3– ASEAN Global Dialogue
If there is no comment or feedback on the above, I would like to request the meeting to adopt the agenda.
I would like to thank the meeting for adopting the agenda for discussion. To save time, I would like to request the meeting to discuss agenda items 1 and 2 regarding the exchange of views on international and regional issues and the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) all together. After that, I will inform the meeting of and to seek your support for the proposal to organize the ASEAN Global Dialogue, scheduled for November 2012. If the meeting has no objection, we will proceed accordingly.
I would like to thank for your concurrence.
Agenda 1- Exchange of Views on Regional and International Issues, and Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC)
To start our discussion on the agenda 1 and 2, on behalf of Cambodia I would like to raise some important points as follows:
Development of democratization in Myanmar
Overall, Cambodia is very encouraged by the positive steps resolutely taken by Myanmar Government in strengthening democracy which include: (i) the amnesty granted to political prisoners; (ii) the establishment of a national peace committee and the conclusion of initial peace agreements with armed groups; (iii) the engagement with all stakeholders in the political arena, including Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy; and (iv) the establishment of a national human rights commission to promote fundamental freedom and democracy as well as human rights. These remarkable developments will make positive contribution to realize the ASEAN community by 2015. In this context, I also commend the electoral process in Myanmar and welcome the outcome of the by-election that took place on 1st April, which reflects the will of the people of Myanmar. At this moment, I would like to reaffirm the decision made by the ASEAN Leaders in the plenary session yesterday which called upon the international community to fully lift the sanction against Myanmar.
On the issue of Korean peninsula, Cambodia is of the view that despite the change of leadership in the DPRK after the demise of the North Korean Leader Kim Jung-Il, the political trend in this country remains uncertain. We do not know how the new regime will evolve. Will the political stance in the DPRK become clearer regarding its nuclear program? Will it remain the same? Will it become tougher? Or will it be eased?
This requires us to closely scrutinize political and military developments in the Korean Peninsula in order to take an appropriate stance aimed at contributing to the settlement of the problems and make further effort to ensure security for the whole region. In this regard, I would like to reaffirm Cambodia’s strong stance to support a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula issue. We would like to urge all parties concerned to abide by the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 1718 (2006) and the Resolution No. 1874 (2009), and call for a resumption of six parties negotiation as soon as possible. In this spirit, Cambodia will work closely with other ASEAN member states and all stakeholders on the issue of the Korean Peninsula.
Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC)
At the outset, I would like to stress that we should steadfastly adhere to the approach that we address the issue of the South China Sea within ASEAN-China framework. Taking this stance, I would like to recall that the ASEAN-China Leaders adopted the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in 2002, and only in 2011 we adopted the guidelines for the implementation of the Declaration. We should also take note that at the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali, in November 2011, we stressed the need to intensify efforts to ensure the effective and full implementation of the declaration, after ASEAN and China agreed on the Guidelines to implement the declaration and agreed to start identifying key elements for drafting the Code of Conduct (COC) in the near future.
In that, the ASEAN Senior Officials Working Group in charge of Code of Conduct has met four times already to further discuss the key elements of COC. I believe that all parties concerned should take necessary measures to build mutual confidence and strengthen strategic partnership between ASEAN and China, while we are formulating a draft of the COC. In this spirit, Cambodia is pleased to host the ASEAN-China seminar to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Declaration. At the same time, all parties, both ASEAN and non-ASEAN, have to encourage all stakeholders to continue discussion on this issue.
With above observation, I would like to invite the meeting to discuss on the two agenda items. So please the floor is yours!
I would like to thank Your Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies for your thorough and comprehensive comments on the two agenda items.
If the meeting has no further comment or feedback, I would like to briefly sum up the key points as follows:
1- The meeting welcomed the positive political developments and progress in Myanmar in promoting socio-economic development, improving the livelihood of the people, democracy, good governance, the respect for human rights, and maintaining peace and national reconciliation. Based on these encouraging developments, the meeting called upon the international community to recognize and respond positively to the efforts made by the of Myanmar through fully lifting the sanction against Myanmar. The meeting reaffirmed the need for ASEAN’s proactive and indispensible role in bridging relations between Myanmar and the world in the course of enhancing ASEAN unity and credibility.
2- The meeting underscored the need to closely watch developments in Korean Peninsula. We welcomed the positive developments in political trends in North Korea. We will continue to facilitate and promote in a peaceful manner close relationship between the South and North Korea. This is ASEAN’s common stance. The meeting supports and encourages peaceful efforts to achieve denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula and calls for resumption of the Six Party Talks as early as possible.
3- On South China Sea issue, the meeting emphasized the importance of the implementation of the DOC and the agreed Guidelines in order to confidently promote further cooperation and mutual understanding between ASEAN Member States and China. The meeting also stressed the need to adhere to the approach of finding solution to the South China Sea within ASEAN-China framework. We agreed to start working on a step-by-step basis for the formulation of the Code of Conduct. The Meeting welcomed the convening of the ASEAN-China SOM on DOC and the ASEAN-China Joint Working Group on DOC, aimed at promoting further understanding and strategic cooperation between ASEAN and China on the South China Sea. We will promote implementation of a number of joint cooperative projects to promote confidence building and cooperation between ASEAN and China in the South China Sea. As next step, the meeting agreed to strengthen the existing mechanisms aimed at strengthening cooperation and building mutual trust.
Before concluding this agenda item, I would like to emphasize that other important points that we discussed and agreed besides the points that I highlighted will be reflected also in the Chairman’s Statement at the end of our Summit.
2. ASEAN Global Dialogue
Please allow me move on to the next agenda item on “ASEAN Global Dialogue”. On behalf of Cambodia, I would like to highlight some main ideas related to the proposal as follows:
So far, ASEAN has been playing an active role in a constructive manner in discussing and seeking solutions to many important issues, which are of common concern to the region and the world at regional, international and other global fora. As a concrete example, at regional level, during the last several years we have successfully and hosted the ASEAN-UN Summit to discuss global challenges as well as to gain support from this global institution to our regional community building effort. ASEAN also actively participated in G20 process through the membership of Indonesia who is a common member of ASEAN and G20 and through the participation of ASEAN Chairman as observer in the G20 meeting. ASEAN also has important role in APEC and ASEM. At the same time, our have successfully promoted “ASEAN Centrality” in the framework of regional cooperation and community building such as ASEAN Plus One with dialogue partners namely ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-India, and ASEAN-US, ASEAN+3, ARF, East Asia Summit, and ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus).
Therefore, to further promote the prestige and contribution of ASEAN to important international affairs as well as to draw attention and get more participation from major partners and international institutions which play a global role to the process of ASEAN community building, Cambodia has initiated the “ASEAN Global Dialogue” which is scheduled in November on the sidelines of the 21th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, immediately after the East Asia Summit.
In general, the “ASEAN Global Dialogue” can be an important opportunity for ASEAN Leaders to dialogue with the Leaders of multilateral institutions and other major international organizations including the UN, the World Bank, IMF, ADB, WTO, and UNCTAD, on the global development agenda as well as other global challenges and the role of ASEAN and its contribution to address those challenges. Moreover, we can also make use of this opportunity to attract more attention as well as necessary support from all partners to build and strengthen ASEAN capacity in dealing with those global challenges and in promoting development and ASEAN Community building, especially narrowing development gaps in the region.
Indeed, since the Dialogue is planned to take place back to back with the East Asia Summit, we also open the door to welcome the Leaders of member countries of the East Asia Summit who can make their time to attend the Dialogue.
I have approached the heads of some multilateral institutions and a number of key international organizations and received positive response on the initiative such as from the President of ADB. In case there is support from the ASEAN Leaders on this idea, Cambodia will collaborate with the Secretary General of ASEAN to develop a concept paper on “ASEAN Global Dialogue” to submit to all member countries to review and provide comments on all aspects of preparation especially the working format and modality as well as topics for the dialogue. At the same time, we will continue to work closely with the multilateral organizations and international organizations concerned to consolidate more inputs as well as necessary cooperation aimed at ensuring “ASEAN Global Dialogue” takes place successfully.
In this spirit, I would like to request the meeting to kindly provide further comments and consider lending your support for this proposal. Please the floor is yours!
I would like to express my gratitude to all ASEAN leaders for [additional comments and] supporting this initiative. As another concrete idea, I think that this dialogue can be a very good opportunity for ASEAN to attract key international partners to support ASEAN’s efforts in addressing a number of priority challenges as laid out in “Phnom Penh Agenda”, especially the mobilization of financing for implementing projects aimed at narrowing the development gap in ASEAN as well as for speeding up implementation of the Master Plan for ASEAN connectivity and for strengthening the mechanism for disaster management in the region. In the capacity as the Chair of ASEAN and the host country, Cambodia will exert utmost efforts to ensure that the dialogue will be conducted smoothly and successfully as expected. I would like to express my strong hope that ASEAN Leaders and officials concerned will extend full cooperation to this proposal at all levels in the process of preparing this important dialogue.
Finally, I would like to thank Your Majesty, Excellencies ASEAN Leaders for your active participation, and your direct and candid views on the issues of our common challenges, in the spirit of maintaining regional stability and security as well as enhancing ASEAN prestige and its contribution to addressing global issues. I have already summed up our discussions by each agenda item. I therefore do not need to make a summary of the discussions again. I would like just to reiterate that the important substance of all that we discussed and agreed upon will be reflected in the Chairman’s Statement at the end of the Summit.
Once again, I would like to wish Your Majesty and Excellencies good health and a memorable stay in the Kingdom of Cambodia. May I declare our retreat closed!
Your Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies ASEAN leaders,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our Summit has come to an end as planned. The Royal Government and People of Cambodia had the great honor to host this important 20th ASEAN Summit. I hope that during the last few days, Your Majesty and Excellencies ASEAN Leaders, and Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen received warm hospitality extended by the Government and People of Cambodia as close friends and brothers and sisters in the great family of ASEAN.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank ASEAN Leaders for their important contributions during the last two days and for the full support for “the Phnom Penh Declaration” and “the Phnom Penh Agenda” which spell out the commitments to the strengthening of peace, security, stability, solidarity, prosperity, and development in the region by focusing on ways to address real challenges that ASEAN is currently facing and identifying key measures which are the priorities for the realization of ASEAN by 2015. In addition, the adoption of the “Declaration on Drug-Free ASEAN 2015” will significantly contribute to enhancing the welfare of our people in the region, especially youth. I also thank Your Majesty and Excellencies for the constructive comments provided during our discussion.
Indeed, we are very proud that the 20th ASEAN Summit has been crowned with success and fruitful conclusion. I am extremely pleased with the outcomes of the meeting has on the important agenda subjects. This will help accelerate the progress of the three pillars, namely ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
Based on the reports of Excellency Secretary-General of ASEAN, we have reviewed, evaluated and taken note with satisfaction the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, Roadmap for ASEAN Community and IAI Work Plan II (2009-2015) as well as the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. Indeed, along with the great success and achievements in all sectors that we have made, we also acknowledge that ASEAN continues to face with some major challenges on its path toward the realization of ASEAN Community by 2015, including the need for reducing development gaps in the region, the need for successful implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity by giving greater importance to the issue of coordination to ensure consistency in the implementation of flagship projects and mobilizing financing necessary for priority projects as well as the need for promoting cooperation in other sectors such as the protection of the rights of migrant workers and the strengthening of disaster management and addressing its impacts . In this regard, we strongly hope that all the measures agreed and laid out within the framework of the “Phnom Penh Agenda” will become an effective means for addressing these challenges.
Indeed, during the discussion we also paid attention to some other important issues related to ASEAN’s stability and security, including the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ), conflict resolution, conflict management and peace keeping operations, maritime cooperation, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus as well as elimination of nuclear weapons and nuclear non-proliferation. Moreover, we have noted with satisfaction the progress in other areas which is critically important for ensuring the effective implementation of the ASEAN Charter and promoting the building of people-centered community including legal instruments for interpretation of the ASEAN Charter and addressing legal issues, enhanced good governance, progress of works of ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), promotion of activities of the ASEAN Foundation, and strengthening and expanding ASEAN’s international relations with ASEAN dialogue partners .
In international aspects, our 20th ASEAN Summit took note of the positive developments. This has contributed to an improved environment, which is favorable for solving regional political problems including the encouraging progress towards democracy in Myanmar, good progress towards the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in South China Sea (DOC) and reaffirmation of our support for peaceful solution to the issue of nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula, especially the rapid resumption of the six-party talks.
In the spirit of enhancing ASEAN’s prestige and its contributions to important international affairs as well as to draw attention and get more participation from major partners and international institutions which play global role, to the process of ASEAN community building, we agreed on the initiative of organizing “ASEAN Global Dialogue” in November during the 21th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, back to back with the East Asia Summit. In this regard, we also adopted the concept paper on Global Movement of Moderates, and took note of report by the Chair of ASEAN on the preparation for participating in the upcoming G-20 Summit, at the invitation extended by the Government of Mexico.
In addition, the ASEAN Leaders also had fruitful dialogues with the representatives of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), ASEAN Civil Society, and ASEAN Youth. We consider this process as an integral part of our effort to transform ASEAN into a people-centered community and increase its relevance for the ASEAN people. In this sense, we highly appreciated the commitments expressed and constructive recommendations provided by the representatives of ASEAN Inter-parliamentary Assembly, ASEAN Civil Society and ASEAN Youth, towards building an ASEAN Community living in peace, stability, prosperity and harmony.
At the same time, we are also exceptionally pleased that the 20th ASEAN Summit coincided with the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of ASEAN. To celebrate this anniversary, Cambodia, as the Chair of ASEAN, will issue a Statement on the 45th Anniversary of the ASEAN in order to highlight major accomplishments of ASEAN over the past four decades. We are very pleased and noted with satisfaction and pride advancement of ASEAN since its founding, especially its active and influential role in regional affairs. Since the founders’ vision of ASEAN-Ten was realized, ASEAN today has become a closely-integrated political and economic entity, an influential player in the region and the world, and an indispensable strategic partner of major economic and political powers and international organizations. We strongly believe that the realization of the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015 coupled with gradual strengthening and expansion of close cooperation with partner countries and institutions will bring about enormous benefits to the people of ASEAN, and the role of ASEAN as the driving force in ensuring regional and global security, stability and development will be further enhanced.
Once again, I would like to reaffirm that all the important points that we agreed and adopted during the Summit including in the plenary session, the retreat session as well as the meetings with representatives from ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, ASEAN Civil Societies, and ASEAN Youth were reflected in the Chairman’s Statement. I also hope that our concerned Ministers will continue the discussion and take measures with high responsibility to translate the “Phnom Penh Agenda” into concrete results and report the progress to the ASEAN Leaders at the 21st ASEAN Summit in November.
Once again, on behalf of the Royal Government and People of Cambodia, I would like to thank Your Majesty, Excellencies ASEAN leaders and distinguished delegates as well as Excellency Secretary-General of ASEAN for participating and making the 20th ASEAN Summit a great success. I strongly believe that the successful outcomes of the 20th ASEAN Summit represent a substantial contribution to our resolve to establish a strong ASEAN Community that corresponds to our theme, “ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny”.
Moreover, Cambodia looks forward to welcoming Your Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies ASEAN Leaders and all distinguished delegates and Excellency Secretary-General of ASEAN again to the 21st ASEAN Summit in November. Cambodia hopes that Your Majesty and Excellencies ASEAN Leaders will continue to lend your support to Cambodia, the Chair of ASEAN, to bring about greater success in ASEAN integration this year.
Finally, I would like to wish Your Majesty, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen good health, great success in all endeavors and a safe and pleasant return to your home countries. With these comments, I now declare the 20th ASEAN Summit closed.