Monday, January 18, 2010

Address at the Official Inauguration of the 42.88 Km Segment of the National Road No. 1 from Korki to Neak Leung Ferry Port

Address at the Official Inauguration of the 42.88 Km Segment of the National Road No. 1 from Korki to Neak Leung Ferry Port and the Ground Breaking of the Construction of the 9.10 Km Segment from Veal Sbov to Korki

January 5th, 2010

Your Venerable Monks,

Excellencies, Members of the Senate, Members of Parliament, and Members of the Royal Government,

Your Excellency Masafumi KUROKI, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests,

Dear Compatriots, Civil Servants, Teachers and Students!

Today it is my pleasure to be here in the inauguration ceremony of the 42.88 km segment of the national road No. 1 from Korki – Kien Svay to Western Neak Leung Ferry Port and groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of segment from Veal Sbov to Korki – Kien Svay, which is financed by the grant from the Government of Japan. Taking this great opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and its people, I would like to convey my profound gratitude, through H.E. Masafumi KUROKI, to the Government of Japan, the biggest donor and development partner of Cambodia, for providing vast technical and financial support (both grants and concessional loans) continuously to help Cambodia rebuild peace and national unification and restore and develop physical infrastructure and human resources, especially international port and roads – bridges across the country to accelerate growth and poverty reduction. The Government and people of Japan have provided Cambodia with enormous grants to build major roads and bridges, including the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge at Chruoy Changvar, a segment of the national road No. 6 from Roluos to Siem Reap, national roads No. 6A and No. 7 ending at Thnol Torteung, especially Kizuna Bridge, the first-ever bridge crossing the Mekong River at Tonle Bet, Kampong Cham and two more bridges on the national road No. 1 which was inaugurated on December 19, 2006. During that time, the Government of Japan approved additional grants for the 3rd phase of the Phnom Penh – Neak Leung national road No. 1 development project to broaden its width to accommodate regional transport and reduce traffic jam. In the near future, it will finance the construction of Neak Leung Bridge to increase the maximum potential of the national road No. 1 to fulfill its role as a GMS Highway and Asia Highway No. 1.

The national road No. 1 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung will be a significant contributor to Cambodia’s socio-economic development as the highway is built over the low land along the Mekong River which is flooded every year and located close to Phnom Penh, with high population density, large factories and richness of farmed plants. Given this situation, the construction of this highway and bridges do not only facilitate transport, but also act as a component of the irrigation system and address traffic problems as well as poverty issues. The elevated highway can act as a dike, while the construction of bridges along this highway also takes into account the force of water current to prevent the highway’s cut off during flooding season, in particular, the construction of bridges at Km No. 42+800 and No. 47+939 will have three strategic roles including the facilitation of regional transport, irrigation system for farmed plants along the highway, and flood gate for preventing flood on southern part of the highway and highway’s cut off, which is considered as national and international strategic network. Moreover, the draining of water up and down through this irrigation bridge also brings about the alluvial soil and fisheries resources to serve the domestic market and can also be exported to the foreign countries as well. The construction to improve National Road No.01 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung today is the enhancement of vessel efficiency, which supports and sustains Cambodian socio-economic development to be highly competent and be able to ensure the busy transportation in the region, which can actually bring about the national budget revenue and create jobs and opportunities for Cambodian people to increase income to support the families and further improve the education and welfare. In particular, this National Road significantly contributes to release the traffic congestion, which is more serious from Phnom Penh to Vietnam-Cambodia border of Barvet and Prey Veng due to the increase of all kinds of vehicles and busy activities of the cross border trade as well as the boom of the factories and enterprises. Furthermore, the development project of the National Road No.01 from Phnom Penh to Neak Leung is the timely response to the implementation of the bilateral agreement on transportation between Cambodia and Vietnam, in which after the complete construction, this National Road will become a mean of primary potential to meet the necessary requirement in contributing to accelerate economic growth and national development as a whole through national, regional and international integration.

Realizing the significant role of the bridges and roads as mentioned above, on behalf of the Royal Government, I still set construction and development of infrastructure of land transport, sea route and railway as prioritized policy, which is to be further paid attention and most actively promoted; and the Royal Government is still committed to putting further efforts in overcoming to achieve success in implementing the Rectangular Strategy in order to speed up economic growth and social development aiming to reduce poverty of the people nation wide because bridges are hope and necessary means to promote the engine of economic growth through facilitating the traffic of transportation network. If there are good roads and bridges, people can transport to exchange products in greater quantity with good quality and cheap price to the markets. Good roads and bridges are the excellent means, which can attract investment from all circles to invest in all sectors such as industries, agriculture and tourism, which can create a lot of jobs, which is easier for the people to generate income to support their families.

In order to maintain and promote high pride and efficiency of achievements that we jointly hard earned and having firm optimism about bright Cambodian future, I would like to appeal to the members of the Royal Government, local authorities of all levels, and the management and officials of Ministry of Public Works and Transport to further cooperate in fulfilling duties to link and maintain transportation network with sustainability nation-wide and at all regions, near and far, and to connect to neighboring countries. At the same time, contribution, support and comprehension of the people, particularly for solution for resettlement impact which is indispensible factor for promotion of construction and maintenance of road-bridge and to ensure productivity, quality and safety of transportation in order to promote national and private economic growth as well as to maintain state and private property, especially lives of our people by increasing participation to maintain road-bridge. On behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to request that when you drive happily on nice road, please pay great attention to two important things (1) prevent overweight freighting which severely and quickly damage road-bridge that we hard constructed (2) strictly obey traffic code in order to reduce possibility of traffic accident which trigger tragedy and social burden due to loss of lives or disability of supportive person or our beloved.

Along with that, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I would like to convey gratitude to all government and people of friend countries and development partners, especially Japan, for constantly providing all kinds of supports, including encouragement, materials and fund for the cause of national solidarity, rehabilitation, and socio-economic development of Cambodia through improvement and construction of transport infrastructure which is key to economic growth and poverty reduction of Cambodian people.

I would like to congratulate and admire effort made by Katahira Company of Japan for technical inspection and Obayashi Company who is project implementer with quality and high international standard. Also, I would like to congratulate Daiho Corporation and Ly Chhuong Construction Import Export who are to undertake construction of National Road No. 1 Phase 3 for which I strongly believe that Daiho Corporation will construct this road timely with quality like Siem Reap- Roluos link and technical inspecting company, Katahira , will act as an efficient technical consultant.

At the end, I would like to wish venerable monks, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, national and international guests, government officials, teachers, students the 4 gems of Buddhist blessings; Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength. May I declare the Inauguration of partial link of National Road No. 1 stretching over 42.77 kilometers from the west of Neak Leung ferry port and the Opening of Construction Site linking from Korki to Veal Sbov!

Keynote Address at the Inauguration of “SOS Hermann Gmeiner Battambang”

Battambang, January 4, 2009

Your Venerable Monks,

Excellencies Foreign Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen Distinguished National and International Guests,

Mr. Helmut Kutin, President of the SOS Children’s Villages International,

Dear Compatriots, Teachers and Students,

Today, it is my pleasure to be here with Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen distinguished national and international guests, civil servants, armed forces, and all the compatriots to inaugurate the “SOS Hermann Gmeiner Battambang” in An Chanh Commune, O Char District, Battambang Province. First of all, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to share the joy with all the people in Battambang for the notable development progress realized in this province. In particular, another achievement in our effort to support and provide basic services to orphans and unaided children will be inaugurated in a few moments. This great achievement indeed stems from socio-economic development spirit of Dr. Hermann Gmeiner which is being undertaken by the SOS Children’s Villages International. This astonishing and humanitarian mission will add a new dimension to the global effort to save orphans and other victimized children.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my warm welcome and gratitude to Mr. Helmut Kutin, President of SOS Children’s Villages International for this donation. Also, I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to the management and all levels of officials of the Ministry of Social Works, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation for their untiring effort to serve the national benefits with high level of responsibility and effectiveness, especially strengthening cooperation with SOS Children’s Villages International to realize what we see today.

This achievement represents another pride of the Royal Government in improving children’s welfare and responding to Dr. Hermann Gmeiner, an Austrian national who has founded the SOS Children’s Villages International with overwhelm support from 132 countries, and the organization’s operation took off across the globe, including Cambodia. At the 11th anniversary of the fruitful Cambodia – SOS Children’s Villages International partnership, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to SOS Children’s Villages International for its effort in improving children’s welfare. May Mr. Helmut Kutin and all officials of the SOS Children’s Villages International have good health, enjoy further successful tasks and realize more achievements for the cause of children across the globe, including Cambodia. I would also like to thank development partners and other development agencies for their financial and technical support in our effort to improve children’s welfare, in particular, SOS Children’s Villages Denmark and SOS Children’s Villages UK funded the construction of this SOS Hermann Gmeiner Battambang.

The inauguration of this SOS Hermann Gmeiner Battambang is held while Cambodia is preparing for the 31st Anniversary of the Victory Day of 7 January, a historical day marking the victory against the cruel Pol Pot regime, the day remembered by Cambodians as their second birth, the day of being rescued from Pol Pot genocide regime. Moreover, this day is the source of current peace, security and social order, a prerequisite to all opportunities as well as socio-economic development witnessed today. Even though 31 years have passed, we cannot erase the trace of this tragedy. What the Pol Pot regime did to Cambodian people were much worse than the Nazi Hitler did to women and children in Lidizair village of Czech and Orado of France.

Left behind by the Pol Pot regime is the death of husband or wife, loss of children and family separation. Children were forced to hard labor under burning sun and heavy rain, without adequate food, clothing, health care and education. The foundation of social, cultural and religious infrastructure was entirely destroyed by the regime. Although the regime was overthrown on 7 January 1979, the war extended by many years and Khmer Rouge took control of some parts of the countries even after the 1991 Paris Peace Accord and 1993 general election organized by the UN. Not until 1998, thanks to the “Win-Win” policy, we can proudly say Cambodia could steer clear of war and complete peace re-existed in the country. Through this we can see that war is the main cause behind vulnerabilities of children and long-term drawbacks in the society. Having gone through this unbearable history, the Royal Government is indeed moving in the right direction toward development and prosperity. In particular, the Royal Government has brought about peace and political stability, prerequisite to socio-economic development.

Along with that, the development of children in Cambodia has been clearly defined in the Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government as: “children are future of the nation”. Therefore, the Royal Government will continue improving the implementation of the 4 basic rights of children according to the Convention of the United Nations on Children. Obviously, thousands of schools have been built nation-wide and being built and extended everywhere which ensures ever-developing foundation of national education sector. And the government has set the goal to have all students receive education at least for 9 years through implementation of education strategic plan “education for all” by centering on equitable access for all Cambodian children and youth in order to equip them basic knowledge which allow easy transition to technical and vocational education and training in case of not continuing to tertiary education. The mission that has been and being implemented at the present is to facilitate and shorten journey by students from home to school i.e. we are promoting construction of school closer to people’s dwellings. This is a way to reduce drop-out rate of rural students and to ensure full enrollment. Obviously, the Royal Government has been making utmost effort to build one junior high school at each commune and one senior high school at each district. For this purpose, the government has paid great attention and steadfastly keeps financing investment in this sector.

At the same time, the Royal Government always pays attention to health, welfare of people and child care through prevention and reduction of child diseases such as diarrhea, asthma, pale skin due to lack of iron, iodine, vitamin C, or nutrition, or due to HIV or AIDS…etc… Child health has experienced constant improvement and polio had been totally eliminated since 1998. Furthermore, the Royal Government has laid out concrete measures through 5-year national plan and gradually combated and eliminated trafficking of women and children, promoted enforcement of law and international regulations, cooperated closely with countries in the region and neighborhood in order to effectively prevent exploitation and violation to children in all forms.

Also, the Royal Government is also promoting provision of service to vulnerable children, children of poor family, and orphans. Apparently, about 11939 orphans are under care taken by the Ministry of Social Works, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and NGOs. The government tried to solve problem of street children and a small number of families who habitually stay on street in Phnom Penh and public gathering places. Those families and children are vulnerable target and exposed to various kinds of dangers such health problem, drug usage, AIDS, prostitutions, misconduct activities and goal-free lives which destroy their future, human dignity and society.

In this spirit, the Royal Government is making further effort to strengthen and extend activities of the Cambodian National Council for Children (CNCC), to promote implementation of alternative childcare and expand child protection network at the communities. This task must be done in parallel to strengthening law enforcement, rehabilitation and vocational education in order to turn them into good citizens in the society in the future.

Duties that we must keep fulfilling in national development is to make investment in primary healthcare for children which is a key to poverty reduction and sustainable development for which we have to make utmost effort to help victimized families and children in order to allow and provide them chance to grow up in revamped social climate. Through this, on behalf of the Royal Government, I highly value SOS Children’s Villages International for having cooperated and been cooperating with Ministry of Social Works, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation since 1999 and have made remarkable achievements such as SOS Children Village Phnon Penh Thmei, SOS Children’ s Village Angkor Siem Reap, SOS Hermann Gmeiner Kidergarten Angkor Siem Reap, SOS Children Village Battambang and SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Battambang that we are inaugurating today. Great humanitarian activities of this organization has reflected clearly effort of the management and all colleagues to take care orphans through “peace village” in conformity to essence of declaration for children of Mr. Hermann Gmeiner in February which puts it “The future of the nation is not determined by only technology and political development, but also starts from success of feeding people of forthcoming generations with human dignity all over the world”. First human dignity means that children have real dwelling, regular daily meal, full and adequate education. In SOS children villages, children who are orphans or cannot live under guardian of parents due to poverty or domestic violence or unfavorable environment for development in the family, have been provided permanent residence for living in comfortable and secure family environment. Those children will receive the right education in order to gain the extensive knowledge and appropriate professional training aiming to achieve the improving community based living. In this regard, the Royal Government strongly believes that SOS Children’s Villages Cambodia will help the orphans, parentless children and the children in the impoverished families to be able to attend school with harmonization and warmness from parents and teachers, who managed them for progress and development in the future. With this challenge, the Royal Government will continue closer cooperation with the SOS Children’ s Villages International in order to expand more networks of children villages and schools with the objective to enhance the development to serve the welfare of the children. In fact, I am the first Cambodian, who became a member of the SOS Children’s Villages International and I will continue actively supporting this humanitarian mission. Taking this opportunity, I would like to the request the Ministry of Social Works, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation, the Committee of the SOS Children’ s Villages Cambodia to continue good cooperation with the SOS Children’ s Villages International in order to enlarge the project of Children Villages and the Hermann Gmeiner school, especially continue implementing the project with SOS Children’ s Villages International in other provinces as well as implementing the policy and standard on substituting care of the children in order to enhance the welfare and the four basic rights of children aiming to contribute to the poverty reduction of our people according to the political platform and rectangular strategy of the Royal Government.

I would also like to appeal to the civil servants, teachers as well as all parents and staff working for SOS Children’s Villages Cambodia to pay utmost efforts to feed and nurture our Cambodian children by maintaining gentle personality, good morality, respect and follow the advice of the teachers, study hard, be highly educated, in order to become good children, good students, good friends and good citizens in the society. At the same time, the Company must strengthen and expand the capacity in all levels either in management or technical issues to the Cambodian employees in order to upgrade and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery.

Before ending, I would like to appeal to related ministries/institutions and local authorities to pave favorable conditions for the operation of SOS Children’s Villages Cambodia and the SOS Children’s Villages International even though they are now in operation or prepared to be in operation soon in the future to be in smooth process with the spirit of solidarity and good cooperation for the supreme interest of the children. Once again, I still strongly believe that the SOS Children’s Villages International can truly implement 4 more constructions, which are SOS Children Villages in Ratanakiri, Sihanoukville, Kratie and Prey Veng Provinces. During the occasion of the international New Year 2010, may I wish the SOS Children’s Villages International the continual progress in order to be able to pursue various activities in humanitarian acts and I wish the Chairman Mr. Helmut Kutin and the Delegation, good health and greater success of your glorious obligations.

At this end, with the official inauguration of the SOS Hermann Gmeiner school in Battambang now, I would like to wish venerable monks, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, national and international distinguished guests, compatriots, teachers and students the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

A Get –Together of the Hun’s Family

28 December 09

Today we, the children, grandchildren and great-grand children – more than 100 of us including in-laws - of the great father Hun Nieng, are so happy to be able to celebrate a party so that everyone in the family is properly introduced to our beloved father, grand father and great grandfather. It is indeed the first ever get-together of its kind in the history of the Hun’s family that, after so many partings and separations in the past, but together with the people of Cambodia, has risen to take its presence in the Cambodian People’s Party as a significant part of the process for national advancement over the past more than 30 years.

Dear members of the Hun’s family, be they my nephews, nieces, and in-laws, those who have grown to be adults and those who might not yet have been able to understand what I am saying today, I have a strong hope that you all maintain and protect the honor and fidelity of the Hun’s family for our nation, while refraining from inappropriately misusing influence or power and causing hardship or trouble for the people.

What has concerned me the most is relating to irregularities to be caused by anyone in the Hun’s family - be it one of their sons, nephews, grandsons, in matter of those of the above. I would seek your understanding that if anyone of us could not do to help our people, you all should absolutely prevent yourselves from using power that is vested in someone in the Hun’s family for purposes that might cause displeasure or trouble to our people at all.

In response to this, from our kinship as your uncle or great uncle and in my capacity as the Prime Minister, I would not tolerate any wrongdoings that are to be disguised under my power, while forgoing legal actions to be taken against you at all.

This evening get-together could be seen indeed as a serious instruction among those of us in the Hun’s family and I would warn you of my decision and never to be disappointed that I, your uncle and great uncle, is going to be so decisive and would give no care to those relatives who would be jailed for wrongdoings or offenses. In Khmer we have a saying that goes “(if one) grants favors to relatives, (one would) part away from legal authority.” The saying has delivered a message that is so simple and clear enough for anyone to understand what it really means.

Our beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather Hun Nieng, in his birthday anniversary of 87 years old, for whom I am talking on his behalf, would want nothing more than good actions and behaviors from us all. That is no different from what I want either. The Hun’s family must strive for regularly good behaviors and treating conducts within the framework of the Hun’s family.

I wish that you all – my nephews and nieces, their in-laws – memorize those points. Having learned experiences of leaders in the world, not only in Cambodia but also in other countries, misuse of power/authority and misconducts could cause future consequences. Those past and present experiences in Cambodia should be avoided by the Hun’s family. We all must get ourselves ready to help our nation, as much as you can, especially at this very moment that the poor throughout the country need to be assisted. You may read my lips not only that we must not trouble our people but help them with.

I would have you all pondering on one fact that at the time when Hun Sen leaves power, and in the case that you ignore my advice today, you could become targets of attack. You may have learned from our country’s history that children of former Generals under Lon Nol could never make it abroad when the regime collapsed. Vengeance took place. Soldiers of the Khmer Rouge could not verify in fact who from whom, but people who disliked them for many reasons were giving them no safety as they told the Khmer Rouge soldiers of those people’s bad behaviors in their time of power.

At the same time, by contrast, some relatives of the former leaders under Lon Nol have been protected and fostered for the good they did. They have survived up to now. So I would warn you of any wrongdoings and misconducts as you have now an uncle or great uncle sitting in power. You all must understand that once the power is gone, and because of your negligence of the fact I mentioned above, all you have left would be nothing but people’s anger.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanksw and appreciation to my children and their cousins for taking initiative and time to get this party organized in celebrating the birthday party for our beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather Hun Nieng at the end of 2009 and at the start of 2010.

Keynote Address at the Inauguration of the 145.4 Km National Roads No.5-6 (Poipet-Siem Reap) and Bridges/Drainage Pipes on National Roads No.56-68

Siem Reap, December 28, 2009

Respected Venerable Monks

Excellencies, Lok Chum Teav, Members of the Senate, Members of the Parliament and Members of the Royal Government,

H.E. PUTU KAMAYANA, Country Director, ADB Resident Mission, Cambodia

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Distinguished Guests

Dear Compatriots, Civil Servants, Teachers and Students!

Today, it is my great pleasure to be here once again to officially inaugurate the National Roads No. 5-6 from Poipet to Siem Reap and Bridges/Drainage Pipes on the National Roads No.56-68 from Sereisophorn through Samrong to Kralagn of Siem Reap province by using the concessional loan from ADB and the 5% of the counterpart budget of the Royal Government of Cambodia without charging the tax on means and materials for the constructions.

Taking this solemn opportunity, I would like H.E PUTU KAMAYANA to convey my deepest thanks, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), one of the leading partners, who has put trust to the Royal Government of Cambodia since the mid of 1990s in providing continuous loans as well as a number of grants for restoring and rebuilding roads, bridges nation wide and other physical infrastructures and human resource development in all circumstances such as today ADB provides loan for the construction of the national roads No. 5-6 and bridges and drainage pipes in the national roads No.56-58 together with the construction of the controlling space for containers of the customs at Bavet border checkpoint, the construction of administrative office and, materials for offices to control the cross border trade in Poipet, the construction of 7 permanent stations for truck weighting along the national road and the installment of the traffic signposts and signals along the main national roads such as AIDS education program and the reform program of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport with the budget of 60 million USD in which OPEC contributed 10 million USD an continually provided additional budget of 16.26 million USD for the restoration of the 29 km of the road No.56. Moreover, many projects that ADB has been ready to provide loans to Cambodia for the renovation and construction of the main national roads, link to the economically potential areas in the northwest part of Cambodia and the maintenance of the roads property. These are the gestures and deep feeling that ADB has contributed to the Royal Government of Cambodia in promoting economic growth and socio-economic development through national and regional integration, aiming to quickly reduce poverty of the people of Cambodia

There are two national roads and bridges that will be officially inaugurated today from Sereisophorn to Poipet and the national road No.6 from Poipet to the provincial town of Siem Reap with the length of 145.5 Km and bridges and drainage pipes on the national roads No.56-68 that we re-opened the construction of two layers of surfaced roads on December 5, 2009, in the last 24 days, that these bridges on the 3 national roads are in 85 places with the length of 2312.2 Km, square and round drainage of 377 places with the length of 7453.58 Km.

In fact, the traveling along these national roads almost could be made possible and the rebuilding has been dragging for so long, but it is just lucky that this restoration is also of better quality than the others because it is the first time that ADB provided financing in construction by requiring the construction conforming to higher technical standard than other roads by enlarging the width and having the road laterized in order to connect the roads funded by the Japanese grants, which is also of high standard from Roluos to the Provincial Town of Siem Reap, which was inaugurated in the year 2002. This inter-connectedness truly provides tremendous advantage for the people of Cambodia as well the people in the region, especially the neighboring people who will receive the interest from selling their varieties of products to Cambodia and the flow of tourists that continue their trip from visiting the neighboring countries to Ankore Wat temple and many other ancient temples in the northern part of Cambodia, especially in Siem Reap province.

In short, these roads will effectively raise the living standard of the people living in Cambodia’s northern part, including Utdor Meanchey and Banteay Meanchey as well as along Thai-Cambodia border, which, in the past, used to be battlefields and was isolated from Phnom Penh and other areas since the roads were ruined by natural catastrophes, war and lack of maintenance. However, we now have built quality roads and bridges, with proper width that meets the international standard, to transform this previously battlefield into a development zone as Cambodian and Thai people happily engage in trade and tourism exchange with smile and peace of mind.

I would like to outline seven major objectives of the construction of the national roads No.5-.6, and bridges on national roads No.56-68, which aim at:
  1. accelerating national and sub-regional economic growth as the transportation cost is reduced while confidence is enhanced, growth, influencing tourism sector is developed and jobs are created for the people;

  2. reducing poverty incidence as people enjoy all season opportunity to seek jobs and market for their products, and to be able to connect to the more developed urban areas;

  3. promoting social development and access to education and health services is guaranteed for the whole year;

  4. encouraging private sector’s participation and giving more opportunity to domestic construction companies by engaging them in construction and maintenance;

  5. fully collaborating with NGOs, working in the field of HIV/AIDS to increase people’s awareness on this disease;

  6. undertaking administrative reform in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, especially the road sector, of which the management of roads and transparency should be a priority;

  7. improving the efficiency of road management, maintenance, and financing systems.

As I recalled that ADB decided to finance the construction of this road after Cambodia had joined the GMS, in particular after the successful hosting of the 2002 1st GMS Summit in Phnom Penh, and this was also a reward to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for undertaking its own administrative reform by enabling the planning and IT sector to play a major role in the construction, restoration and maintenance of roads and bridges through more efficient structure, capacity development for those working in planning and IT sector, and the introduction of transport and road development policy. I fully support this effort, which aims at bringing about growth and social development to realize the government’s policy agenda as well as CMDGs.

The completed restoration of the national roads No. 5 and No.6 from Siemreap to Poipet, and the construction of bridges along the national roads No.56-68 occur when Cambodia is famous for its oldest culture in the region, manages to maintain economic stability, builds both hard and soft infrastructure to fulfill its role in international organizations such as UNESCO, WTO and so forth. Drawing from the nation’s pride and vision to overcome the global economic crisis, the Royal Government still identifies the construction and restoration of land, water and rail transport as a priority agenda as roads and bridges are crucial catalyst for growth, socio-economic development and improved likelihoods as a slogan goes “Roads are Hope for Everyone”.

Having been proud of achievements that we together have hardly earned and have been optimistic about bright Cambodian future, I would like to appeal to local authorities of all levels and the leadership and officials of relevant ministries/institutions and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to join hand to make further effort to link, maintain and sustain all transportation network nation-wide. At the same time, the contribution and support of the people is an indispensable factor to promote the construction and maintenance of road and bridge, keeping safety, preserving state and private property as well as people’s lives by being more cautious during driving in order to ensure less traffic accidents. Along with having good road, I would like to remind you to abide by the traffic law and regulations especially be more careful while driving by not driving over speed limit as well as respecting technicalities for vehicle modification, because at the present time, traffic accident still remains big challenge for Cambodia. Based on the statistics, we have seen that there were 1545 fatalities which mean 17.8 deaths per 1000 motor vehicles. In 2008, the number of fatalities reached 1635 which means only 15.1 deaths per 10000 motor vehicles, and by 2009 November, the number of lives claimed already amounted to 1500. Therefore, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, as a chairman of the national committee for traffic safety, must put furtherer effort to achieve ASEAN goals in promoting traffic safety as targeted to reduce traffic accidents from year to year, and from 2010 to achieve 7 dead per 10000 motor vehicles which means that we must ensure lesser 100 deaths per month. In order to reach these goals, while our roads have been better almost everywhere, I would like to appeal to competent forces and all people that if you drive motorbike, please 100% put on your helmet, if you drive car, you must run at speed as inscribed in traffic law i.e. at populated area at 40 kilometers per hour and outside populated areas at 90 kilometers per hour for small tourist car, and only 70 kilometer per hour for big car (such as lorry). Furthermore, you must keep yourselves away from using alcohol while driving and strictly check technicality of motor vehicles. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport must pay attention to improve road condition to ensure traffic safety. Another important thing, that I would like to emphasize to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and competent forces, is to absolutely take measure against overweight freighting, which is very bad cause to severe damage of roads and bridges. Especially, now all competent forces must strictly impose measures that the Asia Development Bank has provided to prevent over 40 tons freighting by 5-shaft lorry.

At the same time, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I will never forget to convey my thanks to all the Governments and people of friend countries and all development partners , particularly the Asia Development Bank (ADB), who always give attention to provide all kinds of support including spiritual, material and financial support for the cause of socio-economic development of Cambodia, especially through improvement and construction of transport infrastructure, which is key to economic growth for poverty reduction of Cambodian people. In parallel, I firmly hope that the ADB with cooperation with economic development cooperation fund (EDCF) and Export-Import Bank of Korea will facilitate and provide timely and enough loan to rehabilitate and cover national road 56 with double bituminous surface treatment. I would like to highly value, encourage and support the management, officials, workers, employees of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, local authorities and all institutions concerned for having making utmost effort for facilitation in order to successfully complete strategic plan that the Royal Government had laid out, also I would like to compliment Guandong Provincial Changda Highway Engineering Co. Ltd, Khaou Chuly MKK Co. Ltd and SPT Civil Group Co. Ltd, who are project implementers and Korea Consultants International (KCI), provincial department of public works and transportation of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Uddor Meanchey and Siem Reap who endeavored to implement project rehabilitating and constructing national roads No.5-6 link between Poi Pet and Siem Reap and building bridges on national roads No.56-68 with quality that meets regional standard.

At the end, at the time people all over the world are celebrating forthcoming Happy International New Year 2010 , I would like to wish all Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncles, Officials, Teachers, beloved Students the 4 gems of Buddhist blessing; Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

May I inaugurate national roads No.5 and No.6 and bridges and drainage pipes on national roads No.56-68!