Your Majesty the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Chair of the Meeting;
Excellencies ASEAN Leaders;
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
At the outset, on behalf of the people and the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am indeed proud that Cambodia is taking on the ASEAN Chairmanship for 2022. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my great appreciation to Brunei for steering ASEAN in 2021 under the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”. Particularly, I wish to commend Your Majesty the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah for the wise and effective leadership as well as achieving many fruitful outcomes, including the Summits that have just been concluded.
As the Chair of ASEAN in 2022, Cambodia will steer ASEAN’s collective efforts to accomplish our important tasks, especially expediting the building process of an equitable, strong, and inclusive ASEAN Community, which are in line with core spirit of ASEAN: One Vision, One Identity and One Community. In this regard, Cambodia would like to underscore key priorities for 2022 as follows:
1st, Political and Security Pillar: Cambodia will focus on strengthening the ASEAN Centrality and ASEAN Unity, for both regional mechanism and external partners’ cooperation, based on ASEAN Way and Principles stipulated in the ASEAN Charter, Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Also, ASEAN must be resilient and strong against the pressure and influence stemming from rising geo-political competition, transnational-crime, terrorism, climate change and infectious diseases, etc. to ensure our way forward in peace, security, and prosperity.
2nd, Economic Pillar: Cambodia will promote effective implementation of all initiatives and measures agreed as well as leverage trade agreements to the maximum so as to expedite the recovery of economic growth while we are living with Covid-19 in the new normal, and ensure that ASEAN remains an attractive and dynamic hub for trade and investment by enhancing both physical and digital connectivity; strengthening the capacity of MSMEs; and promoting the entrepreneurship amongst women and youth; as well as other priorities aimed at narrowing the development gaps and advancing regional integration.
3rd, Socio-Cultural Pillar: Cambodia will strengthen the development of human resources to respond to the needs on the ground for community building, promote the participation of women and youth in building and maintaining peace, and develop an inclusive social protection system. Another key priority is strengthening people-to-people bonds to enhance the spirit of One ASEAN Identity.
By and large, Cambodia will continue to mobilize support and cooperation to achieve the goal of building the three ASEAN Communities, in line with the ASEAN COMMUNITY VISION 2025. In addition, we will expedite the development of the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision.
As the Chair of ASEAN in 2022, Cambodia is committed to leading ASEAN under the theme “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together” for harmony, peace, and prosperity in the whole region. I look forward to warmly welcome you all to Cambodia in 2022.
Finally, I wish Your Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, success in all the endeavors and be safe from Covid-19.
See you all next year in Cambodia!