Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday at the 75th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Unescap) in Bangkok, Thailand, that Cambodia gives utmost priority to maintaining peace and political stability in the Kingdom.
The prime minister stressed that peace and stability are the indispensable foundations of development. Reciprocally, inclusive and equitable development is a necessary condition to strengthen and ensure security, peace and social stability.
“I would like to reiterate my high appreciation for the United Nations and partners in development that have continued to cooperate with and support Cambodia and Cambodians so far, and strengthen and promote our common goal – building a world in which no one is forgotten."
“Despite Cambodians having enjoyed growth over the past decades, some classes of people or communities have not received the proper rights and power, are vulnerable and have not received enough attention,” he said.
Discussing Agenda Item 2 “Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality” at the annual conference, Hun Sen said the Cambodian government had introduced the 2016-25 National Social Protection Policy Framework.
This, he said, would ensure the safe reception of income, the reduction of economic and financial vulnerability, the promotion of people’s wellbeing and the strengthening of social solidarity.
The framework also serves to provide quality healthcare services at proper prices through the Health Equity Fund.
The fund, he said, provided certain services free of charge for the poor and provides support and allowance for women giving birth as well as pregnant women and children under two years old from poor families.
The National Policy on Ageing 2017-2030 is aimed at supporting and resolving the issues facing the elderly so that they may retain their dignity within their families and communities and join in economic, religious and political activities.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan told The Post that to achieve the policies, the government has to maintain peace and stability which will lead to economic growth and equitable sharing.
“The equity of benefits gained from development includes work, health, housing and everything else,” he said.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey told The Post that implementation of national social protection policies is less than optimal.
“The policies are good, but the implementation cannot ensure their effectiveness yet. Looking at the effective implementation of some of the policies, all require open participation, monitoring and evaluation from independent actors such as civil society to put the entire government’s policy into practice,” he said.
According to the World Bank website, updated on April 11, Cambodia’s economy maintained an average growth of 7.7 per cent growth between 1995 and last year due to garment exports and the tourism sector. This puts the Kingdom in the world’s top six of fastest growing economies.
Cambodia’s economic growth is estimated at 7.5 per cent compared to seven per cent in 2017 and is expected to remain robust in the medium term.