Cambodia, this year’s ASEAN chair, with the support of other countries in the bloc, will endeavour to assume a more active role in building a “brighter future” for the Asian continent and the rest of the world, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The premier was speaking at 27th International Conference on the Future of Asia organised by Nikkei in Tokyo, Japan, themed “redefining Asia’s role in a divided world”.
“We are strengthening ASEAN centrality and unity to ensure ASEAN's resilience and robustness against the pressures and influences stemming from intensifying geopolitical competition, and other challenges.
“At the same time, we are promoting effective implementation of all agreed-upon initiatives and measures, as well as maximising the leverage of trade agreements while enhancing both physical and digital connectivity,” Hun Sen said.
He said that Cambodia and other ASEAN member states would work to strengthen the capacity of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), promote entrepreneurship amongst women and youth, and improve human resource development to stand up to the demands and challenges of the digital era and the Fourth Industrial Revolution and spark a sustainable and inclusive post-Covid-19 recovery.
Hun Sen stressed that the globe is currently facing two primary challenges: the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict.
The crisis in Ukraine has spotlighted the “fierce competition” between the world’s superpowers, coerced less influential countries into choosing sides, and fanned the embers of political and ideological disunity, he said. “Certainly, this could lead to many negative consequences for the development of our region.”
He called for, inter alia, the sovereignty and independence of each country to be respected; the principles of multilateralism and rule-based order to be adhered to; and the promotion of solidarity in a variety of contexts.