ASEM must assert role in global governance: PM

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen during the virtual 13th ASEM (ASEM13) summit, hosted by Cambodia from November 25-26 under the theme “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”. SPM

Partners of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) political dialogue forum need to double down on their commitment to an effective multilateralism, an inclusive and resilient post-Covid-19 recovery, and a more visible and robust role for ASEM in global governance.

Prime Minister Hun Sen made the remark on November 26 at the virtual 13th ASEM (ASEM13) summit, hosted by Cambodia from November 25-26 under the theme “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”.

“We’ll continue to pursue cooperation across the two continents and push for closer ties. I thanked all of Their Excellencies for their cooperation to help Cambodia fulfil such a major duty despite the difficult circumstances,” he said.

He portrayed ASEM13 as a “clear indication” that Eurasian countries have a commitment to work together to promote ASEM, and remain in pursuit of multilateral solutions to global challenges.

“The leaders of ASEM and its partners re-emphasise their commitment towards building a cohesive, competitive, resilient and sustainable ASEM community, for the peoples of Asia and Europe, based on ASEM’s core principles of informality, flexibility, mutual respect, the spirit of consensus and mutual benefit,” he said.

ASEM leaders adopted three significant documents at the ASEM13, namely the ASEM13 Chair’s Statement, the Phnom Penh Statement on the Post-Covid-19 Socio-Economic Recovery, and the Way Forward on ASEM Connectivity.

Hun Sen said the documents illustrate ASEM leaders and partners’ commitment to solidarity and common efforts towards strengthening multilateralism for a better future for ASEM partnerships that is inclusive and resilient.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also issued a press statement on the outcome of the meeting.

“The meeting reaffirmed commitment to work together for peace and security, sustainable development and inclusive growth, based on respect for international law, including the promotion and protection of human rights, in accordance with the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” the statement said.

The ministry also said the ASEM leaders stressed the need to maintain an open global economy and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening and upholding the open, fair, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its core, for long-term growth.

ASEM leaders expressed “high appreciation” to the Cambodian government for an “excellent” job of arranging the event, which they said will contribute towards a strengthened multilateralism, more robust ASEM processes and a resilient, inclusive and sustainable post-Covid-19 era, the ministry added.