Minister: Kingdom deserves applause

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Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn. Photo NIDIR

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn on Thursday said Cambodia had set a successful example by bringing the Covid-19 pandemic under control. But he said the effort has drawn little attention from the international media.

Sokhon was speaking at a recent policy forum themed Cambodia’s lessons learned and shared experiences in response to Covid-19, which was hosted by the National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations (Nidir).

The forum was held in cooperation with the Cambodia Development Training and Research Institute and the Asian Vision Institute.

It was attended by World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Dr Li Ailan, Institut Pasteur du Cambodge director Dr Laurence Baril, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine and other experts.

Sokhonn said it was up to the Nidir to educate foreign officials.

“In my viewpoint, [Nidir] is making Cambodia’s voice heard in the international arena. No country has real knowledge of the truth. This policy forum is to share real experiences in the fight against the global Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Sokhonn said Cambodia has also benefitted greatly from aid sent by friendly countries and the advice of international bodies like the WHO.

“We don’t have Covid-19-related fatalities. We didn’t lock down the country. We just banned some activities,” he said.

Sokhonn said Cambodia showed the world it has never forgotten the truth of humanitarian acts and human rights.

“Cambodia has conducted tests and provided treatment for Covid-19 patients irrespective of whether they are Cambodians or foreigners. Cambodia also saved 2,257 passengers on the “Westerdam” cruise ship.

“As my Prime Minister has said: ‘How can we speak about human rights if the right to life is not respected?’” he said.