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Hun Sen, ASEAN leaders convene for 42nd summit

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo (C) speaks during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Labuan Bajo on May 10, 2023. ASEAN INDONESIA 2023

Hun Sen, ASEAN leaders convene for 42nd summit

The 42nd ASEAN Summit opened on May 10 in Indonesia, with eight leaders of the regional bloc’s 10 full members and its Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn in attendance, along with Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, in an observer’s capacity.

Indonesia assumed the ASEAN chairmanship this year, having received the symbolic gavel from Cambodia, who held the position in 2022.

Indonesia is using the theme “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth” for its chairmanship, referring to the bloc’s significance as a centre for global growth.

Prime Minister Hun Sen led a high-level delegation of the Cambodian government to Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, on May 9 to attend the three-day summit. He is scheduled to return on May 11.

Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany were greeted by Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin, who was accompanied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ director-general of protocol and consular affairs Andy Rachmianto.

On day one of the summit, the bloc’s leaders issued a statement condemning the recent attacks on a convoy of the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management in Myanmar.

In a statement on May 10, ASEAN leaders expressed deep concern over the ongoing violence in Myanmar and urged its immediate cessation to create an environment which is conducive to the safe and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance and inclusive national dialogues.

“We support the statement of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as the Chair of ASEAN on May 8 in response to the recent attack in Myanmar.

“We condemn the attack and underline that the perpetrators must be held accountable,” the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement said.

The ASEAN leaders also issued a declaration on developing a regional electric vehicle ecosystem, which presses the importance of establishing effective policies and a regulatory framework that encourages their adoption, as well as developing competitive electric vehicle industries.

A declaration on combating human trafficking through the abuse of technology was issued, reiterating the need to promote a cohesive and immediate ASEAN response which addresses current and future threats.

It called for taking advantage of new and evolving technologies to enhance these efforts.

At the same time, the ASEAN leaders also adopted the Declaration on the Development of the ASEAN Post-2025 Vision.

They encouraged the ASEAN High-Level Task Force on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision to work in a balanced, inclusive and coordinated manner towards the development of the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision to make the bloc a future-oriented community.

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