SAMDECH MOHA BORVOR THIPADEI MANET HUN, Prime Minister of Cambodia, stressed that, without bold, urgent action, the world will see increased poverty, hunger and pandemics, along with more entrenched cycles of instability and conflict. Trust among nations must be restored, as must be trust in the rules-based global system, in which all States fully respect international law and the Charter of the United Nations. However, he emphasized that the international community must first address development issues and prevent existing conflicts from widening. On that, he expressed support for the Secretary-General’s “New Agenda for Peace”, along with his vision for the future of global cooperation outlined in Our Common Agenda. Further, his call for a stimulus for the Sustainable Development Goals — an investment of $500 billion a year on sustainable development and climate action between now and 2030 — will put progress towards implementing the Goals back on track.
Turning to national progress, he reported that, over the past 20 years, poverty has fallen steadily in Cambodia; the country was hailed for its success in controlling and recovering from COVID-19; and economic growth — which returned in 2022 — will continue in 2023. Further, 72.5 per cent of national Goal indicators are on track, he noted, pointing out that Cambodia is “steadily transitioning from least developed to developing country status in 2027”. He attributed this to sound Government policies, along with the country’s ability to maintain peace, political stability, high economic growth, equitable distribution of benefits and good cooperation with all stakeholders. Additionally, Cambodia successfully held general elections in July with a turnout rate of almost 85 per cent — the highest since UN-supervised elections in 1993. This “is a clear indication of our people’s greater political maturity and enthusiasm in exercising their democratic rights,” he observed.
He then detailed the Government’s “pentagonal strategy”, which aims for growth, employment, equity, efficiency and sustainability. To ensure its success, the Government will accelerate reforms to ensure that public administration runs efficiently with integrity, along with safeguarding peace, political stability, security, social order and macroeconomic stability. Further, Cambodia will continue its independent, neutral foreign policy — based on the rule of law, mutual respect and adherence to the Charter — to promote its national interests, strengthen existing friendships and build more amicable ties. He underscored that Cambodia “shall not authorize any foreign military base on its territory” — as clearly stated in its Constitution — nor will it allow any country or group “to use its territory against another country”.
Spotlighting a national goal to become mine-free by 2025, he called for continued financial and technical support to this end. He also urged greater participation by the international community in raising awareness of the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance — “the hidden killers that threaten human security even after armed conflicts end”. As a troop-contributing country, Cambodia supports increasing the portion of ODA devoted to peacebuilding and will further contribute to the process of peacekeeping by standing for membership in the Peacebuilding Commission for the 2025-26 term. He added that, despite challenges and instability, “we can build a better world for all by working together towards our common goals with reinforced mutual trust and global solidarity”.
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