UN’s Khiari praises Cambodia’s foreign policy and vaccinations

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Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn (right) and UN Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari. MFAIC

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn reaffirmed that Cambodia is committed to promoting regional peace, security and prosperity when it chairs ASEAN next year.

Sokhonn made the remarks during a meeting with UN assistant secretary-general Khaled Khiari on November 10.

According to a press statement released by the foreign ministry after the meeting, Khiari spoke highly of Cambodia’s efforts in promoting peace while also lauding the Kingdom for its successful vaccination campaign.

“[Khiari] commended Cambodia’s steady progress, significant contributions to international peacekeeping and support for multilateralism and the international rules-based order.

“He also lauded Cambodia’s successful Covid-19 vaccination campaign . . . and affirmed the UN’s readiness to provide further support for sustainable development in Cambodia,” said the statement.

Khiari met with Sokhonn for a courtesy call wherein he was briefed on Cambodia’s revival since 1979.

Sokhonn told Khiari that Cambodia had achieved durable peace, national reconciliation and socio-economic development after the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia wrapped up its mission in 1993 following the establishment of a new Cambodian Constitution and government.

He also said that Cambodia’s experience could be shared to help bring about peace and stability within the region and beyond.

Sokhonn then shared Cambodia’s views on the challenges ASEAN is facing and the commitment that Cambodia has to promoting regional peace, security and prosperity while it is chair of ASEAN in 2022.

Sokhonn said Cambodia committed to reinforcing the collective efforts of ASEAN to achieve speedy recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and to consolidate ASEAN centrality and unity.

According to the press statement, Sokhonn and Khiari also discussed accelerating ASEAN-UN cooperation in various areas, such as those identified in the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, as well as narrowing the development gap within ASEAN.

Other topics raised were migrant workers’ welfare, women’s rights, Myanmar and ASEAN’s security agenda and support for the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC).

“They shared the same views on encouraging close cooperation between the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy and the ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy to Myanmar,” the statement said.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said it was in Cambodia’s best interests to try to ensure stability, peace, and prosperity both internally and regionally because Cambodia has suffered through the bitter experience of years of wars, violence and instability.