Friday, March 5, 2010

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.

1 comment:

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