PM congratulates inter-party forum on 20th anniversary

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CPP members attend a virtual commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the ICAPP on Monday. Photo supplied

Prime Minister Hun Sen sent a congratulatory message to members and the leadership of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its founding.

Launched in September, 2000, the objectives of the ICAPP are to “promote exchanges and cooperation between political parties from different countries”. It is one of the largest political party networks in Asia with more than 350 members from 52 countries.

Cambodia is a member of the ICAPP Standing Committee and Phnom Penh hosted the sixth ICAPP general assembly back in 2010. The organisation’s headquarters are in the South Korean capital Seoul.

Hun Sen’s letter pledged that for its part, Cambodia would continue to commit to working closely with the ICAPP community to advance their shared vision and interests, including the promotion of mutual respect, understanding and trust to safeguard peace and prosperity for all.

In the November 8 letter addressed to ICAPP founding chairman Jose de Venecia, ICAPP co-chairman Chun Eui-yong and all members of the ICAPP Standing Committee, Hun Sen stated: “On behalf of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), I would like to congratulate the ICAPP for its remarkable achievements over the past two decades.

“ICAPP has become one of the most impactful and respected political organisations in the world. Mutual respect and unity with diversity are the strengths of the organisation,” he wrote.

He also recognised ICAPP members for their efforts at humanitarian assistance, promotion of a culture of peace and dialogue and building bridges of trust between regions.

Hun Sen also praised the achievements of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) – another organisation that is affiliated with the ICAPP – saying it has become one of the most prominent platforms for promoting conversations between different civilisations and implementing culture-based and region-based development models and spurring cultural corridor developments across the region.

He said that within the context of an increasing degree of uncertainty, ambiguity, vulnerability and multiplicity of views in international politics, all stakeholders need to consistently promote trust and confidence-building measures and engage in preventive diplomacy for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Hun Sen wrote that in this regard, the region’s political parties can play an increasingly relevant role by fostering inclusive international dialogues and strengthening an open and rules-based multilateralism by reviving the international order centred on the values and principles of the UN Charter, referencing the “international system” originally built by the US in the years following World War II.

“As the chair of Asia-Europe meeting this year and of ASEAN next year, Cambodia is fully committed to continuously advancing open, inclusive and rule-based multilateralism for sustainable peace and development.

“I am of the view that we could achieve more meaningful results by putting the people at the front and centre of our dialogue and cooperation. People-centred international cooperation is therefore essential,” Hun Sen wrote.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post on November 9 that Cambodia has been actively involved in the ICAPP since its founding with the ruling CPP acting as a key player in the multilateral mechanism.

“Small countries on their own cannot have a strong influence on the world unless we unite together and speak with one voice to solve our common problems. These are the opportunities that multilateral mechanisms like ICAPP can provide to Cambodia.

“In general, many of the most active parties in the ICAPP are the dominant or ruling party in their nation – meaning, the party that is in control of the national government. Thus, this multilateral forum actually has a great deal of ability to solve a lot of problems through its membership,” he said.