Prime Minister Hun Sen received the Leadership and Good Governance Award from the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) on Tuesday at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Summit at the Peace Palace in the capital.
The award was presented by UPF co-founder Hak Ja Han Moon after delivering her opening speech.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan told The Post that the UPF had presented the award in recognition of Hun Sen’s able governance which had resulted in strong economic growth.
He said the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) had grown faster than any other country in the region, and due to the prime minister’s leadership, the benefits of that growth had been divided equally among all classes and helped women, pregnant mothers, children and the elderly.
“Besides his hard work in many other areas, he received this award as a result of achieving peace and stability.
“If the country was not governed well, we would have had a war.
“So Samdech [Hun Sen] has received high appreciation and has been presented with the award. Not only that, other countries want to learn from Cambodia and bring similar peace for their people,” he said.
UPF spokesman Robert S Kittel told reporters at the summit that Cambodia had achieved great success and since Hun Sen was the prime minister, he richly deserved the award.
Cambodia hosted the summit under the theme Addressing the Critical Challenges of our Time: Peace, Reconciliation, Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.
The government said the summit was attended by more than 860 delegates from 40 countries, including parliamentarians, government officials, religious people, women’s and youth leaders, and representatives from the media, universities, civil society organisations and the trade sector.
The UPF is an international, interreligious network of individuals and organisations dedicated to achieving world peace.
An NGO with general consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council, the UPF supports the work of the UN, particularly in the areas of interfaith peace building, peace education and strengthening marriage and family ties.
The UPF Leadership and Good Governance Award is presented to those manifesting excellence in leadership, integrating professional excellence and practical wisdom with moral and spiritual principles.
Candidates from all fields and realms of governance are considered, including leaders of religion, government, NGOs, corporations and educational institutions.
Past recipients include current and former heads of state and government, parliamentarians and religious leaders from throughout the world.
Prince Norodom Sirivudh, former deputy prime minister and supreme privy counsellor to King Norodom Sihamoni, and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher are among more than 60 people from 48 countries to have received the award.
The UPF website says: “The award recognises those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership principles, including fairness, honesty, accountability, transparency and inclusiveness, based on the core values of: living for the sake of others in service to God and humanity; promoting harmony and cooperation beyond barriers of race, religion, nationality and culture; strengthening marriage and the family as the school of love; and affirming universal spiritual values.”