Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn has renewed calls for the international community to push for solutions to bring about a greater measure of world peace, with the hostilities in Ukraine growing alarmingly and the situation in Myanmar still concerning.

Sokhonn was addressing the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, held virtually on February 28.

“Now more than ever, the world needs peace and the rule of law in line with the UN Charter and international laws. In Ukraine, we are worried about the escalation of hostilities with more direct or indirect actors involved,” he said. “We need to put peace at the heart of our words and actions. Our experience, as a former war-torn country, proves that war is the worst way to end war.”

Sokhonn said Cambodia fully supports the call of UN secretary-general Guterres “to settle disputes peacefully without recourse to the threat or use of force, and to commit to non-intervention into domestic affairs, self-determination of peoples and the sovereign equality of member states”.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with the two countries now locked in brutal fighting.

On Myanmar, Sokhonn said the situation remains worrisome and that the complexity of the crisis and its deep-rooted causes must be recognised. He said that ending the suffering of the people of Myanmar and restoring peace and reconciliation have been the primary goal of Cambodia’s efforts during the whole year of its ASEAN chairmanship in 2022.

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Asian Vision Institute’s Mekong Centre for Strategic Studies, said all UN member states have to respect its Charter and find common ground for human rights and peace as war causes destruction and endangers human life and survival. A spirit of multilateralism and peaceful negotiations to end the war, he added, is a win-win method that should be accepted.

“Interference in internal affairs by foreigners, sanctions in any form and weaponry procurement for disputants will not end the war but will only prolong it and destroy more. Cambodia had in the past gone through all these factors. So, peace is at the core of human rights respect and national development,” he said.

At the session, Sokhonn asserted Cambodia’s steadfast commitments to continue its genuine partnership to address human rights issues in alignment with its national priorities.