Sunday, May 2, 2010

Addresses at the 16th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam

1. Address at the 16th ASEAN Summit (Plenary Session)

Topic: Implementation of the ASEAN Charter

and Roadmap for ASEAN Community

Hanoi, Vietnam, 8 April 2010


Excellency Chair of the Meeting!

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

On behalf of the Royal Government and the people of Cambodia, I would like to extend our congratulation to H.E. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on his assumption of the Chairmanship of this important 16th ASEAN Summit and thank Your Excellency for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation.

May I share with you, Your Majesty, Excellencies, some of my views related to our agenda as follows:

1- Implementation of the ASEAN Charter and Roadmap for ASEAN Community

Moving towards the ASEAN Community clearly energizes us to work more closely and pro-actively in order to ensure ASEAN efficiency at this implementation stage. I highly appreciate the signing of the Protocol to the ASEAN Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanism and its attached Rules at this Summit. I am convinced that this Protocol is a stepping stone for ASEAN to build its capacity in order to settle differences and disputes in our region as provided for in the ASEAN Charter.

The 2nd IAI Work Plan (2009-2015) is an important roadmap for narrowing development gaps within ASEAN and moving towards ASEAN Community by 2015. To realize this goal, I would like to propose that, five years from now, the ASEAN-6 should continue and step up efforts to support CLMV countries under the 2nd IAI Work Plan in a coordinated and proactive manner. Cambodia has proposed ten priority areas in IAI Work Plan II. At the same time, I would like to propose that the scope of the 2nd IAI Work Plan should focus on both soft infrastructure and physical infrastructure, which will bring direct benefit to the effort of narrowing development gap. Thus, we have to prepare two “baskets of priority activities”. The first basket consists of those to be implemented by ASEAN’s resources. The second is the list of priority projects to be shared financial contribution from development partners, especially the plus three countries, as development gap within ASEAN is the key challenge for East Asia integration where ASEAN is the centrality and the plus three countries are leading members. Taking this opportunity, I would like to push ASEAN Secretariat for immediate organization of the 3rd IAI forum in Jakarta in order to mobilize support and resources from ASEAN Partners.

2- ASEAN Connectivity

ASEAN Connectivity is the heart for ASEAN to become the centrality of the regional affairs and to leverage its influence in international arena. The past study shows that there is still 1,093 km of missing links in the CLMV countries. The completion of physical infrastructure, such as road, rail, air and sea links within ASEAN region which runs through Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, is a necessity as the assessment on this connectivity illustrated that it would bring benefits to all member states of ASEAN in boosting and facilitating trade, investment, tourism, education, transportation and logistic services, which are the pre-requisites for development.

In the context of ASEAN connectivity, Malaysia has already provided Cambodia with used rails for the missing link of 48 km (Poipet-Sisophon). Currently, through the continued rehabilitation and improvement of this railway, we see the need to remove some more unusable rails. In this regard, I would like to request Malaysia for its kind consideration to provide another 240,000 m of rail (120 km for each line) for replacing the old ones that are unusable from Sisophon to Phnom Penh. The assistance will be a great contribution to the achievement of Singapore-Kunming Raillink. Taking this opportunity, I would also like to propose other ASEAN members to look into a possibility to participate in the construction of the missing railway section of about 257 km, linking Cambodia to Vietnam, which would costs about 600 million US dollars. Indeed, this section is vital for realization of Singapore-Kunming Raillink and it will directly contribute to sustainable growth and prosperity of the region.

I very much appreciate the High Level Task Force on ASEAN Connectivity in cooperation with ADB and ERIA in developing an ASEAN Master Plan on Regional Connectivity, a Plan that can ensure synergy among existing initiatives, with innovative financing mechanism to mobilize funds in addition to the current available resources.

Explicitly, the success of the ASEAN connectivity will largely subject to adequate funding for each concrete project. In this sense, I am encouraged by the progress made under the ASEAN Infrastructure Financing Mechanism (AIFM). Yet, once again, I would like to seek your kind attention on the establishment of an ASEAN Infrastructure Fund which can bring the benefits to all members including the less-developed ASEAN members. This will ensure a full success of the ASEAN Connectivity initiative.


2. Address at the 16th ASEAN Summit (Working Dinner)

Topic: Exchange of Views on Regional and International Issues

Hanoi, Vietnam, 8 April 2010


Excellency Chair of the Meeting!

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all, I would like to welcome the finalization of the amendment to the Protocol of Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) to allow European Union to be able to become a member of TAC. I believe that the EU’s accession to the TAC, following the accession of the United States last year, would be a great contribution to security, peace and stability in South East Asia.

I would like also to highly appreciate and encourage Myanmar’s efforts in the preparation for a credible, fair and transparent general election.

Cambodia strongly supports the early finalization of the Guidelines on the Declaration on the Conducts of Parties in the South China Sea of 2002 (DOC) in order to further promote mutual trust and confidence among the claimants in the South China Sea and to maintain peace and stability in the region.

Regarding the Middle East issue, Cambodia always supports the Palestinians’ struggle for their right of self-determination in establishing a Palestine State which exists in harmony with Israel. Cambodia does not want to see any violence between Israel and Palestine. Cambodia supports peaceful solution to the conflict in order to bring peace and stability in the region and the world, and welcomes the positive results of the recent meeting of the Middle East Quartet, which took place in Moscow.

Cambodia also welcomes the efforts made toward resuming the six-party talks on denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula which would strengthen peace and stability in the region.


3. Address at the 16th ASEAN Summit (Retreat)

Topics: Regional Architecture, Sustained Recovery and Development, Climate Change and Other Global Challenges

Hanoi, Vietnam, 9 April 2010


Excellency Chair of the Meeting!

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

May I share with you, Your Majesty, Excellencies, some of my views related to our agenda as follows:

1- Regional Architecture

The multi-polar setting becomes a dominant trend in the current world. Over the past, ASEAN has clearly showed its ability to serve as an attractive centrality of many processes, both at regional and global level, for peace, security, stability and development. Nevertheless, the ASEAN's challenges in the new context are to maintain its role as a driving force and attractive centrality of regional processes, as well as to expand and strengthen its “leveraging” role in the global arena. The maintaining of this role is very crucial for ASEAN in setting its future regional architecture. The most important key in this is to strengthen its advantage and ability through successful efforts to narrow the development gap within ASEAN and to build a well connected ASEAN community.

In this sense, the enlargement of ASEAN connectivity into East Asia Region means not just a pre-requisite for the establishment of Free Trade Area and Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia, but also a foundation for an establishment of East Asia community in the long run in which ASEAN is the centrality. In this spirit, ASEAN should be cautious about regional integration initiatives raised by some partners which could damage the role of ASEAN centrality in regional affairs. As such, while we are discussing the approach toward the Comprehensive Economic Partnership establishment, ASEAN should focus on the implementation of the existing Free Trade Area agreements and narrowing development gap among countries within the region.

Moreover, ASEAN should take the current opportunity to contribute inputs to options of international financial system reform led by G20 countries as economic recovery and development are closely linked to this important reform. In this spirit, I am of the view that ASEAN Secretariat and Vietnam as the ASEAN Chair, should lobby the G20 Summit in the Republic of Korea in the near future to officially accept the ASEAN Chair as an official member of the G20 Summit.

In this regard, I would like to reiterate Cambodia’s support for the push for Doha development negotiation, in WTO framework, to be finished immediately and successfully.

2- Sustained Recovery and Development

Once again, I highly appreciate the recent ASEAN+3’s decision to launch the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) and increase the size of the SWAP arrangements from US$80 billion to US$120 billion. Actually, this self-help mechanism could protect the region in the context of current global financial crisis as well as financial crisis which may reoccur in the future. So we should finalize the remaining technical issues, so that this mechanism can be implemented at the soonest.

Although the global recovery remains fragile, we see that Asian economies recovered from the crisis before the other regions. Asia’s remarkable recovery explicitly reflects to some extent that currently the regional economy becomes less dependent on the United States and Europe. Medium-term challenge in Asia is, however, to promote domestic and regional sources of growth in order to play a more dynamic role. This requires stronger push and sooner completion of cooperation and regional economic integration process in accordance with initiatives and action plans that we have adopted.

3- Climate Change

This Summit is timely to provide further guidance to translate the Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment into action plan and concrete projects for implementation. In this regard, I highly appreciate the ASEAN Declaration on Joint Response to Climate Change. Cambodia has been committed to the implementation of the Copenhagen Accord. Cambodia is piloting a project in the framework of Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

We must give high priority to climate change mitigation and adaptation in the process toward a climate-resilient ASEAN Community. I think that ASEAN should have one voice in encouraging the more developed countries to transfer low-carbon technologies to least developing countries, thus we can jointly mitigate greenhouse emission gas. Adaptation funding mechanism is even more important for least developing countries in addressing challenges resulted from the Climate Change. In this regard, ASEAN has to explore effective financing instruments and policies for climate resilience.


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