Friday, March 5, 2010

Keynote Address at the 99th Anniversary of International Women’s Day

Royal University of Phnom Penh, March 4, 2010

Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is a pleasure for me and my wife to be here to celebrate the 99th Anniversary of the International Women’s Day, a joyous event for all women in Cambodia, as well as across the globe, to recall women’s lengthy fight for equal status, role, responsibility and treatment compared to men. This event reflects our joint commitment to promoting and encouraging women to participate in all sectors and steer them clear from vulnerabilities, but towards harmonization and hope.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I would like to commend the management and officials of all ministries, institutions, local authorities and armed forces for their particular attention to promoting the status, role and living standard of the women to enhance their capacity and ability in the society. Along with this, I would like to thank diplomatic corps, development partners and agencies, national and international organizations, civil society, and all related institutions for the concerted support aimed at promoting women’s rights and contribution. Women’s improved role is indeed crucial to poverty reduction effort as “Women are the Mothers of the World”, women play a big role in raising and guiding the children. They also participate fiercely in family production to promote the living standard, drive economic efficiency and participate in all angles of social development. According to this, women development is a key to all other development efforts.

This event reflects the Royal Government’s political will and firm commitment to promoting women and ensuring equality between men and women in Cambodian society. Achieving this will allow us to develop human capacity and enhance productivity, which are the main foundation of family system and social justice. In short, bravery and dynamism of women ensure sustained and equitable development in the society, whereas discrimination against women participation in socio-economic activities is deemed underdeveloped culture and unacceptable to the present world. Any discrimination, violence and trafficking suffered by women is not just a pain for a single woman, single family or single community, but it is a tragedy for the whole society.

Promoting women’s capacity and ability is a priority, attested by the Royal Government’s slogan that goes “women are the backbone of the economy and society”. This is also embedded in the capacity and human development agenda of the Rectangular Strategy that strive to streamline gender equality to promote women’s rights to health services, education services, trainings, job opportunities, independent income generation, legal protection, and elimination of discrimination against women. Along with this, the Royal Government is paying particular attention to increasing female share in the all level of national institutions and organizations to enable them to participate in decision-makings, formulation of development plans, and governance at both national and sub-national levels, especially in the promotion of social morality, the value of women and families and the elimination of domestic violence and trafficking of women which devalue women’s dignity and happiness. In this spirit, I would like to once again urge the private sector and national and international organizations to keep on encouraging women and give them greater opportunity to ensure gender equity, productivity improvement and socio-economic development.

Moreover, to achieve the above vision, the Royal Government has formulated an array of policies and programs such as the Cambodian Millennium Development Goals, the National Strategic Development Plan and sectoral policies and plans to underpin and respond to the needs of women and families in all sectors. Among those, the Ministry of Women Affairs, the Cambodian National Council for Women and the National Committee for the Promotion of Social Morality, Women and Family Value, implementing agencies of the Royal Government, are in charge of implementing, monitoring, and reviewing gender equality policy which aims at reducing poverty incidence and gradually eliminating and violence discrimination against women.

The report by the Minister of Women’s Affairs has shown that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs together with the Cambodian National Council for Women and the National Committee for Promoting Social Morality, Women’s Value and Khmer Families, Development Partners, Civil Societies as well as private sectors have actively implemented the 5 years strategic planning “Neary Rattanak-III” in order to solve any issues faced by the women and achieve the objective of Gender Equality, welfare enhancement, education, encouragement of the participation and capacity building. Taking this opportunity I would like to admire all these efforts for the cause of improving women conditions according to the spirit and goal of Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government. At the same time, I have also noted that this “Anniversary of the International Women’s Day, 8th March 2010” the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the organizing committee have agreed to select a topic of “Jointly Improving Women’s and Youth Potential for Social Development” which is in line with the participation by women in the world. In this connection, I would like to sincerely support this topic because beside women youth is another important group to improve economic and socio-cultural conditions, tradition, and customs of Cambodia. We have also been aware that youth are successors, who are now more than half of the Cambodian population, and they are still students, tertiary student, workers, employees and all kinds of service providers, who are essential labor forces with potential for the future of the country.

The achievement we have received truly result from the tireless efforts in order to rebuild and construct the foundation for all kinds of development including the capacity building of women from the ash of the Genocidal Khmer Rouge. After the Genocidal regime Cambodia has been renovated in all sectors, which include physical infrastructure and human resources as well as culture, tradition, customs, religious belief, family value and social morality.

Today, the globalization has brought about sharp and broader communication between country and country, region and region in socio-economic sector and physical infrastructure, that can accelerate the speed of national development. But the current of the globalization has brought about a number of challenges that may have negatively affected the culture, tradition and national identity. Those negative effects include cross border crimes, richness in drugs, gang activities, and distribution of pornographic pictures, which could instantly affect the youth attitude, immoral acts, unaware of family value, violence, violation, all kinds of cheating, misconduct performance, which affect health, lives, social order, families, communities and the whole nation. All these issues will bring about difficulties affecting the public security, social order and people’s safety, especially women, children and youth. In response to these challenges, the Royal Government has been struggling to solve the issues by strengthening governance, urging the implementation of public administrative reform, public finance, justice and private sector development. As a result, various laws to protect women including “ Prevention of Family Violence and Victims Protection”, law on “Human Trafficking and Prostitution”, “New Penal Code and Criminal Legal Procedure” “SID Convention and Protocol according to the choice of the SID Convention ” etc have been adopted. Beside this, in education sector the Royal Government has been implementing Educational Policy for all and All for Education and the increase of scholarship numbers aiming to promote the enrolment rate all youth in all levels.

The Royal Government has been trying to reduce the gender equity through the increasing the enrolment rates of girls. In health sector, the Royal Government has increased the primary health service, sexual health and malnutrition and the prevention of AIDS epidemic. Along with that, the Royal Government has paid attention to increase the roles of women in the economic sector in order to make sure that women have ability and roles to contribute more in the management and decision making of all level of the governance. We should also note that the proportion of female members of the parliament increased from 5.83% in 1993 to 21.13% in 2008, female members of the commune councils increased from 9.49% in 2002 to 15.12% in 2007, female members of municipalities, province, districts /khans represent 12.36% in 2009 and 29.38% of village leaders are women, 24 women are municipal/provincial deputy governors and 197 are district/khan deputy governors. The Royal Government will continue implementing various policies to increase opportunities for female students’ enrollment by providing scholarships specifically to women, various training programs by providing safety accommodation to women and continue to implement the policy of increasing female teachers. The Royal Government still continues to focus on providing training to women at all level and expanding job opportunities for women.

The Royal Government has also been paying high attention on the challenges faced by youth in which their voices have been put into the policies through proving them opportunities to prepare the national and sub-national policies. Along with that, the Royal Government has been trying to insert the people’s policy into the socio-economic economic policy, plan and various programs in all levels and have set necessary measures by defining education and health development sector, gender equity and rural development as objectives of priority and job creation. These measures will transform the youth to be significantly driving forces for the national development in all sectors. In sum, all these works will contribute to achieve the vision in the leadership of Cambodia with sustainability, political stability, security and social order with sustainable and equitable development and with strict respect to the principles of democracy as well as the respect of human rights and dignity, consisting of highly educated people with suitable living standard sustainable harmonization in the society and families. In this connection, the selection of the above topic is right and suitable to the context of Cambodia as well as in the region. On behalf of myself, I would like to support every educational activity to promote and protect women as well as Cambodian youth in order to make sure that their situation changes from poverty vulnerability to bravery and progress and become the valuable and highly potential human resources for the national development.

In this precious day, I would like to congratulate and highly appreciate the women and youth who have had leading achievement, in which including the Red Cross Youth in building reputation for the nation and play as a role model for women and other youth. Once again, I would like to thank the state-owned institutions, development partners, private sector, civil society and national and international organizations, who have supported in fulfilling works and closely cooperating with the state institutions, that have dealt with the social works in upgrading the women’s and youth’s socio-economic situation as well as contributing to the poverty reduction of the people. In this spirit, I would like to appeal to the ministries/institution, private sector, development partners and agencies, national and international organizations, communities and families and all people in all corner of the country to continue this good cooperation and upgrade the women’s and youth’s potential and eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and impunity for the sake of rights, dignity, justice, and happiness of the human being as a whole and the socio-economic development in order to contribute to the poverty alleviation of our people. I would like to partly appeal to all Cambodian women and youth to put further efforts in developing their capacities for the progress and new success in the future.

Before ending, I would like to wish the King Father, the Queen Mother and King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who have always paid high attention to the children and grandchildren, especially to the women and children, physical strength, longevity in order that the king can stay as a peaceful shelter for the people in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

At the end, I would like to wish the “99th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2010” under the topic of “Jointly Promoting Women’s and Youth Potential for Social Development” for the progress of Cambodian women as well as women all over the world and get away from vulnerability and live with harmonization and hope in lives and all youth will become true successor, and I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, especially all Cambodian women the four Gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health, and Strength.

Keynote Address at the Closing of the Khmer Cultural Show and 12th Anniversary of the Culture Day

Phnom Penh, March 3, 2010

Venerable Monks,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to be here in the 12th anniversary of the 3-March Culture Day which is hosted under the theme of “Preah Vihear: Venerable Place, Khmer’s Masterpiece and World Heritage” and in the closing of the Khmer Cultural Show. This event allows us to exchange opinions and experiences to reassess what we have done with regard to conservation and development of arts and culture within the context of globalization and IT advancement in this 21st century.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to commend the Ministry of Culture and Fine Art, related ministries especially aged actors and actresses as well as officials, instructors, actors, actresses coming from all cultural organizations for your commitment to conservation and development of Khmer’s culture. I would also like to commend the office of culture and fine arts in the capital and provinces as well as amateur actors and actresses across the country who have prepared for months in composing, directing, and training to deliver the performance in this event. Along with this, I would like to show my strong support for the organization of this event. I think the show does not only celebrate the 3-March Culture Day, but also reflect the innovation of Khmer’s LKORN which will further boost the conservation and development of Khmer culture, i.e. “Cambodia – the Kingdom of Culture” and “Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder”.

The Royal Government indeed gives priority to the promotion of national culture and civilization. Along with this, all action plans of the Royal Government embed the meaning and substance that clearly aims at promoting culture and civilization. The Royal Government always regards the culture and civilization as the core and identity of the nation. This developed culture and civilization indeed stemmed from innovation and hard work of our ancestors since the existence of Khmer. Our culture and civilization is the priceless heritage for development and growth of all generations. With this heritage, we have made many new achievements that boost Cambodia’ reputation by successfully managing the inscription of Angkor Wat and the whole Angkor Wat Area in the list of world heritage on 14 December 1992, Ror Bam Preah Reach Trop in the list of intangible culture heritage on 7 November 2003, Lkorn Sromorl Sbek Thom in the list of intangible culture heritage on 25 November 2005. Moreover, on 7 July 2008, Preah Vihear Temple, which is the theme of this year’s Culture Day was listed as the World Heritage and Cambodia was elected the permanent member of UNESCO on 26 October 2009. These achievements make the reputation of Khmer’s culture and civilization well-known all over the world.

According to report from H.E. Hem Cheam, Minister of Culture and Fine Art, we would perceive that Ministry of Culture and Fine Art were closely cooperated with all relevant institutions, municipalities, provinces and our people to successfully achieve cultural objective “The Kingdom is center for promoting Khmer culture”. This year is a beginning of new objective, “Cambodia, Kindom of Culture”, which is a new stage of economic development based on cultural foundation. At the same time, I would like to emphasize that we have more important works to do, it includes reaping the benefit from tangle and intangible cultural heritage for economic development, in according to the spirit of strategic tourism promotion, which its objective is “Kingdom of Wonder” and a new object, “Cambodia, Kingdom of Culture”. In this regards, the Royal Government raise a slogan “Preah Vihear Temple is a shrine, Khmer unique architecture and the World heritage”, which is the topic of the twelfth Culture Day of the third march today. The objectives are to provoke total national spirit to promote, maintain and protect national culture, and remind and make known to our people of the whole country and the whole world about our unique architecture of Preah Vihear, which is scared place of Khmer and the World heritage. Therefore, it is important for all of us joint together conserve and maintain it eternally for the benefit of our next general and people of the whole world.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to recall some of the events related to the venerable Preah Vihear temple, which is the unique artistic architecture, representing the skills of creating and true invention of the huma being and was built to dedicate for the God of the Promagn religion whose important God is “Preah Eso”originally called “Srey Sekha Resvor”, that means “Primary God of the Mountain Top”. According to the history and Script showing that the Preah Vihear temple has 8 Khmer kings who used to get involved in the construction of the architecture with the objective to link “Power and Religion” from 9th century to 12th centure. However, among the 8 kings we have known that only 3 kings have paved the way and left many masterworks who are King Yaksor Varman I, King Sorya Varman I and King Sorya Varman II.

Moreover, among the three kings we have noted that, only King Sorya Varman I has made greatest masterworks in the architectural construction at Preah Vihear based on the carving and decoration of the architecture. The decision to include the Khmer Preah Vihear temple to be the world heritage by the World Heritage Committee was done according to the request made by Cambodia, who is the owner of this national relics. The criteria of the Preah Vihear represent the achievements of the artistic architecture that is the skill truly created by khmer people with high value and it is also the unique and scarce universal masterwork in the world today. The Preah Vihear temple is not only the witness showing about the progress of historical artistic architecture and civilization but also the living resort because Preah Vihear temple is still the sacred place for Cambodian people such as monks and people in all walk of lives. They always go there to pay respect and consider this place as the most effective religious practice forever. Moreover, the Preah Vihear temple has special value as a cultural resort and excellent place with historical value for research and significant archives, value of architecture skill, archeology value by illustrating the importance of the process of Cambodia history and high value in beautifully natural environment between nature and culture.

There has been no doubt that the mentioning of the value of this world heritage is just to show about the benefit of including Preah Vihear as world heritage which brings about the attention from general human being in the region, and the world in promoting, preserving and developing this resort in order to contribute to restore and enhance the living standard of the people. In economic term, I understand that we have to focus on the development of cultural resources either in physical or abstract forms through increasing the dissemination and trading on the goods of cultural industry by paying attention to the creation of new products that are more cultural industry based, and contribute to the poverty reduction of our people. In this connection, in order to be the benefit of the national culture, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts must increase good cooperation with all related institutions and agencies of the Royal Government, national and international organizations and private sector in order to upgrade and support the utilization of the cultural potential at the utmost to encourage all Khmer children to be more critical in creating cultural products to become a new property for the society, that is encouraging Cambodia to be suitable as Kingdom of Wonder. Along with that, I have noted that today, the use of our cultural resources is still limited. Besides the temples around Angkor campus, the Preah Vihear temple that is the heritage of our ancestor, together with other physical cultural national relics are good enough to attract visitors that require us to pay attention to improve and build further necessary infrastructure for the expansion of culture destination. As for the abstract cultural national relics such as visual arts, carving arts, tradition, customs and various festivals that the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and other related institutions have maintained and renovated, can also be processed and turned into products of cultural industry for the development of tourism sector as well. The production of visual arts, all sorts of handicraft arts, movies and the creation of cultural events such as opera, visual arts, Khmer food competition, showing of traditional dress, kite opera, all kinds of cultural exhibition...etc is the development of cultural goods and service in attracting the users and showing the Khmer identity to the people in public inside and outside the country to know Cambodia better.

In this regard, in order to enhance our Khmer cultural arts sector, I would like to stress and put out a number of recommendations for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and other related ministries to implement as follows:

1. We must continue organizing more art operas in the future in order to make sure that artists can participate in building their masterworks and learn from each other. Along with that, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts should try to strengthen the roles of professional art groups in the province to help the people’s movies and then open the nation wide people’s opera in order to upgrade the awareness of our movies stars. We must constantly encourage the development of authors, movies leaders and performers and cultural techniques because the human resources in this sector is a significant factor. I have learnt that we have the theater forms of not less than 22 forms, but human resources that are well aware about those forms are limited. In this sense, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and all levels of cultural institutions should have clear cut program or work plan in the development of human resources related to the Khmer Tragic Theater sector.

2. We must stimulate the creation of new masterworks because the production of new works on the Theater sector is significant. If we do not try to improve our Theater masterworks, the Masterworks of Universal Theater will swallow our national Tragic Theater. In this sense, the professional and popular arts should be newly created as much as possible in order to serve the pleasure and dignity of the people and prevent the incoming tragic Theater Culture from the outside too.

3. We must transform our nation to be a center of dissemination of Khmer Visual Culture through the constant creation of new works and performances to the national and international viewers, especially the visitors. At the same time, the municipal and provincial department of culture should organize the music program weekly, monthly and annually in order to achieve this objective.

4. We must pay attention to create, maintain and encourage the “Living Heritage” on the sector of Visual Arts in order to maintain and transfer their knowledge to the young generation-“We must not lose the knowledge of our national cultural due to the death of our senior Artists”. Along with that, we have to continue paying attention to seek for methods to open the pedagogic training or further training for senior artists in order to award certificates to them, aiming to encourage those who have served the National Culture Sector for many years.

5. Along with the preservation, we must try to develop and modernize our Tragic Theater Arts, but every modernization acts will not be to lose the original features and identity or colors of our nation, meaning “not slow traditional – not foreign modernization”.

6. We must try to transform our Khmer Tragic Theater products to become the cultural industry inside and outside the country through the performance or photographing the theater, music recording, songs, and traditional dance in order to disseminate and do business to serve the cause of preserving and developing our national visual arts to be better in the future. We must have the strategic plan for short-, medium- and long-term in maintaining and developing the Khmer Tragic Theater to be better. In this sense, all levels of cultural institutions must strengthen and expand management roles to provide service and training to the private sector (especially the popular arts group) to do more activities throughout the country. At the same time, we must often organize the training program and meeting in order to share experience and knowledge as much as possible.

7. Research, documentation, propaganda and publication about Lakhorn and Khmer dance in all forms have to promote for conservation and future development. Moreover, we have to revived extinct form of Lakhorn and develop them to gain popularity and prosperity in the future. New form of Lakhorn, music, song and performance must continue to creatively develop to build a new form of Lakhnorn on the top of the old one by keeping Khmer characteristic and qualities.

8. Law on intellectual properties rights have to be enforced to eliminate plagiarism. In facts, our ancestors were the builder, constructor and creator. Ancient temple, alphabet, literature and all form of Khmer art were born from the highest intelligences of Ancient Khmer. Therefore, we have to work hard following their great model and propensity of their innovation.

I would like to emphasize once again to set the March 3rd to be a National Culture Day to provoke our compatriots, both inside and outside the country, together protect and promote national culture. It is “All to protect national culture, National culture for all”. Therefore, I wish 3rd March, National Culture Day, is always in our memory and always celebrate. Taking this opportunity, I would like to appear all relevant institutions, local authority, national and international organizations and private section work together to provoke the spirit of National Culture Day both inside and outside the coutry.

Finally, to close Country-wide Lakhorn and Khmer Dance Performance, I wish your venerable monks, Excellencies, ladies, gentlemen, distinguish guests and performers the four Gems of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

Keynote Address At the Closing of the 31st Health Conference and the 8th Joint Reassessment Conference of the Health Sector Achievements

Phnom Penh, 2nd March, 2010

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen distinguished national and international guests!

Today it is my pleasure to be here in the closing of the “31st Conference of Health and 8th Joint Reassessment Conference of Health Sector Achievements”. This conference indeed is a great opportunity for all of us to jointly reassess what have been done, drawbacks, opportunities and challenges to come up with new plans that are consistent with various targets of the health sector and supportive of participation from related ministries/institutions to ensure good results and improved efficiency of the sector.

In particular, as raised by H.E. Mom Bun Heng, Minister of Health, this conference is a major annual event of the health sector where health officials from all levels, development partners, the private sector and professional unions gather to review the health situation in 2009 by looking at the progress and achievements and challenges that must be dealt with in 2010 and upcoming years.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to commend all officials, doctors, nurses, and workers in the Ministry of Health and all hospitals for the high quality medical services that push Cambodia’s health sector, starting from scratch because of the war. Indeed, the progress achieved in the health sector is necessary in contributing to poverty reduction of the people. Moreover, I highly appreciate development partners, agencies, national and international organization and relevant organization for cooperation and supports, in term of planning and implementation of health sector. The objectives are to increase effectiveness of health services for people, to reduce poverty, to develop socio-economy conditions and to achieve spirit of Rectangular Strategy for growth, employment, equity and efficiency in Cambodia. In this context, I would like management of staff of the Ministry of Health, relevant ministries/institutions/organizations, development partners, private sector and professional associations to continue their supports and efforts in achieving a vision of health development in Cambodia, especially on restoration and expansion physical infrastructure and development of human resources. These are the foundation to expand coverage of health service delivery and timely response to essential health services of our people nationwide.

Achievements and progresses in health sector could be made with financial and technical contributions from our country friends, development partners, national and international organizations and private sector. Those contributions are invaluable to ensure public health, progress and sustainability of health sector in Cambodia. In this sector, the Royal Government continues to implement Health Sector Plan 2008-2015 to strengthen health services, improve quality of services, change attitude of service providers, ensure sufficient and regular flow of fund for supplies of medical equipment, strengthen skill and capacity of staff, improve medical supplies and strengthen health information system, including health financing and health governance, of which strengthening the supplies, management and use of medical drugs and regulating pharmaceutical products and private health services providers.

Moreover, we have been expanding coverage program on prevention and treatment transmission disease, maternal and infant health, and enforce free health consultation and treatment for poor through increase and use of equity fund to enable the poor to receive public health services without letting any patient die because of not be able to receive full treatment and care from doctors. At the same time, we have increased the budget support for this sector to further develop and expand the number of referral hospitals, health centers and health posts across the country in order to make basic health care services available for people in the area with improved professional quality.

Along with that, the RGC has expanded the quantity and improved the dispatching of doctors, general practitioners, midwives, and nurses in the health sector through training and various capacity building programs such as sending students and interns to various training programs at the national and international level, and increasing incentives for rural health officials. Meanwhile, we have been promoting the professional ethics of doctors and that of all health officials so that they can become real public health service providers. In that sense, all state’s doctors and health officials who have the duty to provide health cares for the people must try their utmost to adapt their personalities in accordance with the codes of ethics in health sector by providing the people or patients with cares and treatments based on technical principles, virtues, and integrity. They must always view themselves as kind guardians of the patients so that they can feel more comfortable and confidence while receiving the service. Besides, the RGC has also increased its control on private health service providers such as consultation services, treatment, and legal commercialization of medicines to ensure the quality of the services and health of the people as well as continue to strengthen and expand cooperation with public institutions, development partners, private sector, national and international organizations, and donors aiming at improving public health. Through this, we would have better ability to strengthen and gradually expand our work toward the establishment of health insurance system, and to broader and further educate and disseminate information on health and sanitation to people. These works will constitute an effective social safety net which could ensure sustainable development of Cambodia’s health sector.

Along with the achievements and progresses made, we also acknowledge that there are still rooms for improvement including the challenges of rising population and new relocation sites, the lack of researches and findings on new discoveries in this sector. Moreover, the mechanism for facilitating health sector and the people, enterprises and insurance work have not been fully in operation. Institutional technological capacity is still limited for systematic work, and various pandemics are still the challenges ahead. Besides, although we have so far invested a lot on medical technology and institutional capacity building to address the challenges facing health sector, I have personally observed that the proper identification of diseases and the effectiveness of treatments are still at the beginning phase. Hence, it is important that we continue to invest in this sector in order to continue to strengthen medical technology, health information system, especially, disease monitoring system which could track down information across the country, the management system off all levels of health entities which could respond quickly to various situations and to help promote health officials’ ability to use these information to improve the quality of the service. Base on this foundation, we must continue to promote and implement various key policy measures including promoting the partnership and reform initiatives in this sector aiming at improving the investment climate of the private sector to participate in the development of physical infrastructures in this sector which will create a key mechanism for rapidly develop Cambodia’s health sector.

All of the points mentioned above can be used as experiences for consideration while preparing the action plan for 2010 and the year ahead. In this sense, the Ministry of Health, and all level of related institutions must continue to try their utmost and by all means with the available resources to effectively realizing the objectives as set out by this 2010 conference.

Indeed, the conference has received many new ideas that can be used for implementing the works ahead, and I have raised many recommendations already regarding the promotion and development of health sector, but as time goes by and in the evolving context, new works keep on emerging. Bases on this, I would like to raise some more recommendations to strengthen and expand the implementation of works in health sector effectively aiming at improving and increasing the people’s confidence in this sector.

1. Continue to prepare and strictly implement legal standard and codes of professional ethic of doctors, dentists, pharmacists, midwives, general practitioners, health clerks, nurses, staffs and agents of the whole health sector aiming at improving the quality of health service delivery with professionalism. At the same time, we must understand that a society can prosper from the sense of contribution, responsibility and high determination of each individual for the cause of national development.

2. Encourage all hospitals, health centers and health posts, and all health service providing institutions to modernize this sector including developing human resource, upgrading medical facility, technology, improving health cares and treatment. Along with that, we have to continue promoting research on this sector by strengthening and expanding cooperation with Health University, Private Sector and other NGOs, Professional Associations, the Research Unit of the Ministry of Health and various hospitals by stimulating and suitably encouraging the new findings.

3. Take further measure seriously and implement the drizzling policy by cooperating with related various ministries/institutions in order to eliminate the medicines and medical facilities that are not of quality, fake and the institution producing and selling medicines and medical treatment institutions that have no license from the specialized authority, causing the patients more serious.

4. Pay attention and closely cooperate with related ministries/institution in order to continue close monitor to the institutions producing cosmetics and beauty salon as well as the use of chemical substances by legally punishing those who caused the problems and destroyed every instruments, materials, facilities and products that have negative impact on the public welfare.

5. Pay further favorable condition to encourage and promote the private sector to participate actively in the development of health sector in Cambodia, especially filling the gap that the Royal Government is unable to do, in order to strengthen the quality of counseling, checking up, taking care, and treating the people at high standard to ensure the patients’ trust and full confident. Along with that, we have to implement the hegemony of health centers and posts at the new resettlement, the development zones along the border and at the rural areas all over the country by continuing to fully implement the equity fund because this work will contribute significantly to the national defense and territorial integrity of Cambodia.

The delivery of health service will positively contribute to the economic development due to the fact that this service is the main defining factor to increase productivity, labor, investment and saving rate through making the people to receive good result in education and profession for their living. The practical experience of other countries in the region has shown that the improvement of health situation is one of the key factors that creating the socio-economic progress faster even though the good health alone is not yet the entirely sufficient factor to promote high economic growth. In this spirit, I would like to reaffirm once again that the health policy of the Royal Government is not just focusing on the economy alone, but it is the willingness that resulted from the high attention in welfare and improvement of the living of our people to be more prosperous.

Certainly, the fundamental structure of public health system is determined by technical limitation and capacity of institution. In this context, Ministry of Health has to continue its effort to deliver public health service closer to our people, in conformity with de-concentration and decentralization policy of the government. This policy has put high responsibility to deliver public health service for the benefit of local people. Furthermore, Ministry of Health has to closely cooperate with other relevant institutions to address other cross-cutting challenges, such as climate change and natural disasters, which affect health of human and animal, economy, agriculture, water and environment. In this respect, Ministry of Health has to be ready by strengthening its medical emergency service, medical consultation and public health care, providing treatment to vulnerable people and preventing diseases outbreak such as malaria, dengue fever, AH1N1 etc. and strengthening a system of monitor on transmission diseases and a response system.

Before closing, I would like again to appeal excellencies, ladies, gentlemen and the conference to actively participate and implement the proposed plan and to share information, knowledge and experiences in this conference in order to improve implementation for new additional achievement as stated in the health strategy.

Finally, to the closing of the thirty first Health Conference and the eighth Joint Review of Health Achievements, I wish excellencies, ladies, gentlemen, distinguished guests and the conference the four gems of Buddhist blessing.

Keynote Address at the 2009 Stocktaking and 2010 Direction-Setting Conference

Ministry of Interior, February 25th, 2010

- Your Excellency Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior,

- Your Excellencies Deputy Prime Ministers, Senior Ministers, Ministers, Members of the Royal Government,

- Your Excellency Commissioner and officers of the national police,

- Your Excellencies Chiefs of Council and Governors of the Municipality/Provinces,

- Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen distinguished national and international guests,

It is indeed my pleasure to be here in the 2009 stocktaking and 2010 direction-setting conference of the Ministry of Interior. On behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I highly commend the national police force, public servants serving under the Ministry of Interior, and sub-national authorities for their concerted efforts to produce the 2009 achievement.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to specifically extend my appreciation to H.E. SAR KHENG, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior who has been instrumental in the achievements, most notably:

1- In 2009, despite suffering from the global economic and financial crisis, typhoon Ketsana disaster, bird flu outbreak, regional and global security threats, conflict in western part of the country especially in Preah Vihear, Tamorn and Mombey areas and so forth, within the framework of the Royal Government’ policy, the Ministry has overcome these problems by successfully maintaining peace, political stability, national security, national integrity and sovereignty, preventing terrorist acts and ensuring smooth and peaceful walks of life. Also, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to police and military officers protecting the national sovereignty and borderline, as well as government officials who donate their own wealth to develop the infrastructure for social development and sovereignty protection in the western part of the country. Your support attests to all Cambodian people’s patriotism and commitment to protecting integrity and sovereignty.

2- Security and social order have been greatly improved. Competent forces and all level of authorities have undertaken measures to prevent and crack down all kinds of crimes to ensure safety for everyone.

The well-kept peace and security create a favorable condition for businesses, investment activities and tourism and allows us to host many national and international events within the framework of regional and global cooperation and cultural exchange.

3- With regard to sub-national administrative reform according to democratic development in 2009, we made another milestone achievement, that is the successful election of municipal, provincial, and district/khan councils. This election, along with the election of commune/sangkat councils have ensured that sub-national authorities are voted by the people according to democracy principles. This will ensure democratic governance, Royal Government’s political will in strengthening multi-party democracy and political and social stability for long-term sustainable and equitable socio-economic development.

Following the election of municipal/provincial and district/khan councils, the Ministry of Interior, through the National Committee for Sub-national Democratic Development has worked hard to support the councils to start their jobs, including the support given to commune/sangkat councils to achieve democratic governance at local level through decentralization and de-concentration of administration.

4- Besides these, the Ministry of Interior and all levels of authorities has done a great job to prevent and crackdown on drug, women and children trafficking, forestry-related crimes, illegal land encroachment and fisheries crimes; moreover, it has also made a significant achievement in prison work, registration services, issuance of ID cards, encouraging people to update their registration for election, conflict resolution, training, capacity development, and institutional efficiency improvement.

All these achievements did contribute significantly to the implementation of the Rectangular-Strategy Phase II to realize growth, employment, equity and efficiency. In spite of the enormous ruins left behind by the Pol Pot Genocide Regime, Cambodia has managed to recover in a very short time compared to other countries. This clearly shows concrete development in all sectors and Cambodia is capable enough to stand on equal status to deal with regional and global affairs. Moreover, all policies and activities undertaken by the Royal Government are appropriate and correspond to need of the nation and Cambodia’s people. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all members of the RGC, civil servants, and all armed forces to be determined in carrying out this profound mission further.

In 2010, although it is generally concluded that the world economy is starting to recover from the severe global financial crisis, however this recovery is very uneven from one sector to another and from one region to another, and indeed poor countries are the countries that are affected by this uneven rebound of the global finance and economy. At the same time, issues relating to nuclear weapon, international terrorism, piracy, insecurity in a number of countries are taking deeper root and become more complicated, especially the complex political turmoil in Thailand and the greed of a few extremist leaders of Thailand to encroach land integrity and sovereignty of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia, coupled with the impact of climate change and natural disasters have sparked new challenges for the region and the whole world, particularly the least developed countries. Specifically for Cambodia more or least, the effect of those challenges has definitely damaged the efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia for the cause of development, poverty reduction and improvement of quality of life of our people.

To achieve economic growth, ensuring poverty reduction in conformity to the RGC’ strategies, it requires us to take appropriate measures to successfully overcome those challenges and to promote reform process for growth. For that, the Ministry of Interior, all levels of authorities of the sub-national administration and the whole national police force are to take responsibilities to participate in bolstering peace, political stability, security, social orders, reforms, socio-economic development for which I’d like to take this opportunity to emphasize on a number of key measures to be implemented in 2010 as follows:

1st. The Ministry of interior, all levels of authorities of the sub-national administration and the whole national police force including all the people must continue to be determined to steadfastly sacrifice in order to protect our land integrity and national sovereignty by jointly executing my recommendations that was recently announced on the 6th February during the inauguration of the new Army Intervention Division No.3.

2nd. Pay more attention with high sense of awareness at all time to maintain peace, political stability as well as good security environment nation-wide which facilitates development of all sectors, especially economy, trade, investment and tourism etc… aiming at accelerating poverty reduction of our people in conformity to the political platform that the government had adopted in the Rectangular Strategy Phase II.

Always, we must strengthen the capacity of our security forces in all kinds of expertise, expand international cooperation with the objective to efficiently collect security information, to prevent any terrorism activities from taking place which could destroy lives, properties and happiness our people. In this regard, we must pay attention to strictly manage of all kinds of explosives in conformity to law on management of weapons, explosives and ammunition including legal procedure for management of explosives of armed forces and legal procedure for the management of explosives for civil engineering. Besides, we have to make further effort to combat against transnational criminal activities such drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, weapon trade…etc… as well as to be cautious for any possible insecurities that emerge domestically. Also, we must take measures against all kinds of illegal mobilization of armed forces, breaking national solidarity and triggering social chaos, which are obstacles to the policy of pacifism, harmonization and national development.

3rd. Promote the role of all levels of commanding units in taking the responsibility and play leadership role to ensure security, public order in designated territory. According to past experience, although the Ministry of Interior and the General Commissariat of National Police force do manage and lead security the tasks, their main roles are to lay out policy and manage big tasks that goes beyond the capacity of municipality/provincial police or competence-intensive tasks. In contrast, in real practice maintaining sustainable security and daily livelihood of the people are to be taken by local authority who are closest to the people, particularly the commanding units that are the most capable of mobilizing force and take comprehensive measures into the local security protection movement because this task cannot be achieved by only police or military police without participations of all levels of forces, all sectors and people.

4th. Taking this valuable opportunity, I would like to appeal all police officers to pay more attention to promote the virtue and moral as competence forces who are mandated to serve the people with respect to security issues, public order, and work for the people, protect people and not against the people.

The abuse of police’s power and duty for illegal purposes such as illegal logging, land encroachment, illegal fishing, and smuggling or supporting culprits for personal interests is highly prohibited.

5th. Along with the appreciation of and compliment for the police officers who have sacrificed their physical and mental efforts in implementing their duties to contribute to the protection of security, social order that is being promoted from day to day, and with the remarkable declining in the number of robbery, I would like to put out an order to a small number of police officers, who are now carrying out their work at the locality which affect the interest and freedom of the people, to urgently stop their action and put further effort to serve the people better.

In case they do not stop their action or change their wrongdoing, the General Commissariat of the National Police of the Ministry of Interior must strictly discipline those officers.

At the same time, I would also like to appeal to people all over the country to join together for the sake of security, social order such as reporting about the criminal hint or any suspicious acts or reporting on any passive activities, through the writing of anonymous letter and have it sent to the administrative police post, district police headquarter or the municipal/provincial general commissariat or report by telephone to the stand by forces at each general commissariat post, whose telephone numbers have been informed, or to the General Commissariat of the National Police and other means in order to make sure that the police forces are able to intervene timely.

6th. Pay attention to promote the implementation of main duties of the police officers effectively in order to reduce all kinds of criminal acts and boost the possibility for searching and investigating criminals and bring justice to the victims.

Through a short time of experience from 1 August-31 December 2009 when we started the campaign of implementing the land traffic we have not just brought about order to the traffic condition, but have also contributed tremendously towards reducing the robberies on the streets and at public places, especially the robberies of motorcycle have been on decline due to the fact that those motorcycles that used to have no license plates and having been unregistered, are not able to be trafficked on the roads, and all most all motorcycle owners have registered. This makes it easy to identify those motorcycles used by the robbers and also make it hard for those robbed motorcycles to reach the market. For instance, the motorcycle robberies figure revealed that within 5 months before the implementation of the land traffic law and 5 months after implementation declined from 112 cases to 54 cases.

This mean that in 2010, the Ministry of Interior with the General Commissariat of the National Police as an agent, must take further intensive measures, including better management of the police force because if this could be done it really means that the measures to crack down the criminals, the elimination of the efficiency of the culprits, and research measures and investigation of the police will truly be more effective and efficient and the criminals will deter.

Regarding the issue of human resource management, we have the sub-decree on the provision of identification card, residential book and family book that help provide the police with certain information, yet we still face complication with the management of temporary accommodation and the resettlement of the people that makes me think that we must consider to construct a legal framework or law to ensure a clear social management system.

Along with this, we have to further encourage the management of the explosive devices. Although we have done a lot already with regard to this issue, there are still weapons scattering around, that the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of National Defense must cooperate to jointly stock-take and share experience with the aim to enhance the implementation of the law on explosive devices and ammunition more effectively and efficiently.

7th. Taking this opportunity, I would like to honestly appreciate the active efforts, so far, made by the Ministry of Interior with the Police Academy as an agent and the General Commissariat as a participant in training more police officers inside and outside the country to make sure that this force becomes a remarkable force in a good pace to promote the whole police forces to become truly professional and to gain support from the people.

With this effort, I would like to request the Ministry of Interior to continue upgrading and setting direction of the human resource training program to be more fruitful, and at the same time, assigning trained officers to the right target, and preparing the strategic plan for building the next generation officers in order to ensure sustainability and efficiency.

8th. Regarding the sub-national level administrative reform of the democratic development through decentralization and de-concentration in 2010, we have to continue putting further effort in re-arranging the system and each administrative structure in order to response to the new line of accountability of those administrations according to the law on the management of municipal/provincial, district/khan; and law on the management of commune/sangkat administration.

Since the reform has reaches a profound stage, I suggest the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD) to rapidly finalize the draft of 10-year National Program (2010-2019) and submit to the government for review and adoption. This program would clearly make known to all of us on reform phases and respective main implementation activities. However, the foundation of the reform is in a first three-year platform that is prepared to assess scope of work and available resources from government, development partners and other stakeholders. More importantly, the first three-year platform will be a basis for harmonization among development partners and alignment supports from them as well as civil society during reform process.

In 2010, the capital, provincial, municipal, district and Khan Administration is required to prepare a Five-Year Development Plan and a Three-Year Rolling Investment Plan. Moreover, they are also required to prepare their first Budget Plan in 2011. Therefore, NCDD has to work with relevant stakeholders and prepare legal documents for supporting this process, particularly the Law on Finance and Management of State Properties at Sub-national Administration and its attached legal documents for implementing the Law on Administrative Management of Capital, Province, Municipality, District and Khan. It also supports the works of Council and Governing Board of those administrative levels in conformity with the Organic Law. Moreover, the NCDD should build the capacity of the council, governing board and civil servant at those administrative levels on roles, responsibilities, new working process and new working communication of the sub-national level in order to enhance cooperation among sub-national level and between national and sub-national level.

The key area of sub-national administration reform, through decentralization and de-concentration process, is the transfer of roles in finance, personnel, physical competency and legal competency. This requires a separate statute of civil servant at the sub-national level to be an administration that has the ability and competency in delivering public and development services according to the needs of local people, aiming at reducing poverty of the people. This is a sensitive and complicated process that requires a firm political commitment from the ministries and institutions, that all have agreed at the beginning of the process, during this critical time to continue this reform until achieve the intended outcome.

9th. Because there is more demand in supporting administration of Capital, Province, Municipality, District and Khan at the early stage, we should not overlook the strengthening of reform at Commune/Sangkat level. The Commune/Sangkat is a key political foundation of sub-national administration, because it is directly elected by the people. This requires an appropriate system and structure of national and Capital, Province, Municipality, District and Khan Administrations to support and response to the needs of Commune/Sangkat council in addressing of people needs. Because Commune/Sangkat reform is important, the RGC, development partners and civil society have increase funding to Commune/Sangkat every year to invest small-scale development projects at the grass root. In this respect, NCDD, MOI and Capital, Province, Municipality, District and Khan have to strongly support the Commune/Sangkat to effectively implement those projects in conformity with democratic principle. Officers who are appointed to support with the Commune/Sangkat have to respective autonomy of Commune/Sangkat and maintain extreme honesty.

10th. In 2010, the reform requires restructuring sub-national governance system that lead to reorganize civil servant at sub-national and especially those who are working for Capital, Provincial, Municipal, District and Khan office. Therefore, during this time, we have to maintain continuity of works of all sectors at sub-national level and strengthen effectiveness in responding to the needs of people by focusing on vulnerable groups and addressing challenges at the local level, including preventing and cracking down various domestic crimes, especially illegal logging, land encroachment, local conflict resolution and gangs activities to beef up security for people in participating social activities.

Those are all of my recommendations in addition to the working directions 2010 of the Ministry of Interior that have been discussed and adopted in the conference. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and my own-behalf, I strongly place my hope on the willingness and commitment of your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen of the Ministry of Interior, civil servant and the National Police to turn my recommendation into success by embedding them in the working direction of 2010 for the progress and prosperity of the country and Cambodian people.

Being convinced and during the closing of this Stocktaking conference of 2009 and Direction Setting for 2010 of the Ministry of Interior, I would like to wish Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen with four gems of Buddhist Blessing.

Keynote Address at the Ceremonial Delivery of Mine Clearance Equipments

Keynote Address at the Ceremonial Delivery of Mine Clearance Equipments from the Government of Japan and Stocktaking Conference on 10-Year Achievement (2000 – 2010) of the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC)

Phnom Penh, February 17, 2010

Your Excellency Mr. MASAFUMI KUROKI, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia,

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

All officials of CMAC

Today, it is my privilege and pleasure to be here once again in the ceremonial delivery of mine clearance equipments and stocktaking conference on CMAC’s 10-year achievement in clearing mines and UXOs. This is my 5th presence in the ceremonial delivery of mine clearance equipments from the Government of Japan. List of equipments to be delivered include 488 mine detectors, 44 deep mine detectors, spare parts, mine destruction vehicles and mobile maintenance warehouse which are totally worth USD 5.5 million. These equipments are crucial in supporting and boosting CMAC’s operation to effectively clear land for crop cultivation and more robust socio-economic growth.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the people and Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to convey our deepest gratitude, through H.E. MASAFUMI KUROKI, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia, to the people and Government of Japan for these important equipments. I highly value this humanitarian act. The delivery of these equipments also attests to the firm commitment of the people and Government of Japan to help Cambodia overcome mines and UXOs that are threatening people’s security, safety and livelihoods. Thanks to the “Win-Win” policy, Cambodia has managed to end the chronic 2-decade civil war by completely putting an end to political and organizational structure of the Khmer Rouge in late 1998 and bringing back the most-needed unification and peace to the people. However, mines remain a major threat to people living or travelling in or around ex-battlefields. In this context, the Royal Government is left with a long list of priorities, including the clearance of mines and UXOs that must be dealt with urgently to pave the way for broad and cross-sectoral internal integration, especially for human and infrastructure development effort.

Over the last 10 years, the Royal Government of Cambodia and development partners have cooperated closely to deal with mines and UXOs and a significant achievement has been made. However, mines and UXOs have not been completely cleared from villages and farms, and are endangering lives of those living in ex-battlefields. Mines and UXOs usually cause death or permanent disability. Moreover, mines and UXOs threaten crop cultivation and infrastructure development. However, through our concerted effort, accident rate caused by mines and UXOs declined significantly over the past few years. According to the report of the Cambodia Red Cross, the accident rate declined from around 800 in 2004-2005 to 200 in 2008-2009. The figure indicates our proud achievement in the clearance of mines and UXOs. In spite of this decline, the rate is relatively high compared to other peaceful countries left with mines and UXOs. Moreover, the remaining casualty rate is the indicator to show the threat to security, safety in using land for livelihood of our people, especially those who are living in the former frontline.

In this regard, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) still considers the mine and unexploded ordnances clearing process in the kingdom of Cambodia as one of its significant priorities, which is to jointly tackle in order to renovate and develop the country. The mine and unexploded ordnance sector has been included in the Cambodia Millennium Development Goal (CMDG) since 2000 and during the 4th legislature of the National Assembly, this sector was still considered as priority and is included into the Rectangular Strategy-Phase II of the Royal Government. At the same time, I would like to stress that only Cambodia has its CMDG of 9 points, in which the 9th point states about the mine and unexploded ordnance sector.

This clearly reflects the commitment made by the RGC in solving the mine and unexploded issues, by realizing that, this issue is not only the social security and safety matter but also the goals related to the development of our economy because Cambodia is an agricultural country and in this circumstance the world is in need of agricultural products. This is additional opportunity for Cambodia to promote the maximum and effective use of land together with ensuring security, improving safety for the people in doing farming in order to fulfill the domestic and export need.

During the last 10 years, the Royal Government has been tremendously successful in all sectors, especially the socio-economic development. All these successes result from the joint effort made by all institutions in public and private sectors, civil society and all development partners combined with the right leadership of the RGC, in which there was an active participation of the Cambodia Mine Action Center (CMAC).

Taking this opportunity, I would like to appreciate the management and all officials and staff of CMAC, who have put greatest effort in fulfilling their duties with development partners, achieving proud results. CMAC has been closely cooperating with various development partners, especially fully participating with the RGC in the mine and unexploded ordnances clearing process, clearing the land of 27, 000 hectares, and found and destroyed the land mine and unexploded ordnances of nearly 2 million landmines. These achievements have significantly contributed to the allocation of land to people for cultivation and farming in order to support their respective living. This action also actively contributes to the RGC in rebuilding rural infrastructures.

The RGC through the Mine Authority and all Operators including the CMAC, RCAF, and International Mine Clearance Organizations such as Halo Trust, MAG and JMAS, truly have tried to demine tirelessly for more than 10 years. Along with this, we do have recognized that the mine and unexploded ordnances issue is still a threat to the lives of our people and is the obstacle for development process of the whole nation. In this regard, we have to continue to liberate the land from landmines in order to make sure that our people can actually use that land at the utmost for cultivation and farming without fear. At the same time, we have to boost the mine clearance in a number of other prioritized areas such as the historical temples areas and other important tourism sites in order to accelerate our socio-economic development. We will never forget that achievements we have achieved today cannot be separated from the efforts made by our demining forces, in which there are some, who have sacrificed their lives bravely and others have been injured and disabled during the operation of mine and unexploded ordnance process. Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia and on my own behalf, I would like to share my condolence and hardship for all demining forces who have been injured, disabled and dead. The people of Cambodia would like to appreciate and always remember the gratitude and heroic model of all and their families.

In this regard, in a name as a country that has suffered greatly from the landmines in the world and in its capacity as a signatory of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Use, Stock-take, Produce, and the Trafficking of Land Mines against Humankind, Cambodia is strictly firm and righteous in abiding by the content and spirit of this international convention. The RGC has already created laws and working legal procedures to implement the convention to be more transparent and highly effective. At the same time, Cambodia has been participating with the international community in sharing experiences and resources to make sure this convention can be realized successfully. However, Cambodia so far has received the accusation of using and planting new landmines along the border. Taking this opportunity, I would like to reiterate that Cambodia has never planted or planned to plant landmines at all. The landmines locations are the landmines covered areas and old landmines farms left by the war. There is no doubt that those who intruded into Cambodian territory that has not been demined, will truly be dangerous, not just only the foreign soldiers who do not know the location but also the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces who are stationing to protect the border as well as the people living along the border, because some landmines are still scattered and un-cleared yet.

In fact, we have been implementing the Ottawa Convention for 10 years (2000-2009) already but the scope of landmines in Cambodia is tremendous and we can have this work completed in 10 years. In this connection, the RGC through the Mine Authorities have requested for the 10 years extension (2010-2020) and it was approved and agreed upon by the international and partners already. Taking this opportunity, I would like to re-emphasize that in early December 2009, H.E. Prak Sokhon, Vice-Chairman of the Mine Authority and Representative of the RGC, led the delegation to participate in the international conference on the 10 Years Implementation of Ottawa Convention in KATAGENA of Columbia. That conference not just approved to support Cambodia’s request for the 10 years extension of mine clearance in Cambodia but also adopted to allow Cambodia to be a host country in organizing the 11th Annual Conference, which will be held in November or early December 2011, which is primarily estimated that the participants will be about 900 coming from more 150 countries and a number of international organizations. Furthermore, Cambodia will become the Chair of the Signatories of one year mandate in 2012 as well.

Along with that, Cambodia is also proud in participating in the international campaign in which the RGC has sent the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces specializing in mine and unexploded ordnance clearance to be on mission for clearing and helping people in Sudan within the framework of UN Peace Keeping Forces. At the same time, the Royal Government also sent royal Cambodian armed forces to some countries as Chad and Central Africa for the same kind of mission. In the spirit, CMAC also share experience and know-how with some countries in the region and in some part of the world such as Lao, Vietnam, Colombia, Sri Lanka; and other 15 African countries had come to exchange experience and learned with CMAC. Obviously, in 2010 the Government of Japan through JICA has supported CMAC to receive 30 mine clearers and mine officials from Colombia to train together with CMAC, and the project will continue for the next few years.

All of tasks are evidences that clearly reflect, generally speaking, the government’s effort, and specifically speaking achievements accomplished by CMAG in clearance activities of landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) for the last 17 years, by cooperating closely with royal Cambodian armed forces and international mine organizations such as Halo Trust, MAG, JMAS, As a result we have cleared 520 kilometer squared of land, found and destroyed 2.7 millions of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). According to assessment by mine authority and all demining operators, we know that there remains 670 kilometer squared of land mine have to be completely cleared. Moreover, some land areas suspicious of having landmine needs to be clarified and to be readjusted clearly in order to ensure safety and reduce fear of our people. Based on this foundation, I am of the view that Cambodia needs more resource to successfully continue our clearance activities of mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) for the next 10 years as scheduled.

Along with, I would like to reiterate that the Royal Government will continue to accept all development partners who provide support and assistance for mine clearance activities in any form through the Royal Government, NGOs and private sectors in order to destroy the so-call hidden murderers namely mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) at earliest possible to ensure happiness and safety to our people.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to convey my compliment and congratulation to CMAC for fulfilling role and duty successfully as national executing agency in ensuring efficiency of operation by coordinating and achieve good relationship with all development partners and gaining trust and good partnership aiming at achieving activities objectives, especially we have succeeded deepened reforms until achieving implementation with professional standard.

Indeed, reform thus far has made remarkable result, however all the management, officers and staff of CMAC should make further effort. There are definitely many challenges, budget current and management mechanism of multilateral and bilateral aid can change due to circumstance. In this sense, CMAC should further bolster institutional capacity in order to compete in national and international framework in context of market economy of clearance of mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Once again, I would like to thanks all development partners for supporting demining activities in the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Ireland, German, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, UNDP and UNICEF and other international organizations such as NPA, HIB, CARE, JMAS, Action-Aid, JICS and JICA...etc... I firmly believe that all development partners will continue good cooperation and support in terms of spirit, material and finance for clearance activities of mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Cambodia in order to make success and answer timely demand of our people.

At the end, I would like to with Japanese Ambassador, MASAFUMI KUROKI, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, representatives of development partners, officials and demining staff all over Cambodia as well as dear compatriots 4 gems of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Happiness and Strength.