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Cambodia marks 66th anniversary of UN ties

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Prime Minister Hun Sen shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York in 2018. SPM

Cambodia marks 66th anniversary of UN ties

Cambodia is commemorating the 66th anniversary of the country’s membership in the UN, which began on December 14, 1955.

Over the past decades, the Kingdom has worked closely with several UN agencies on an array of development initiatives and programmes that aim to help the people and in recent years has shown a strong commitment to supporting the UN by participating in peacekeeping missions under the UN umbrella.

In commemorating the anniversary, Prime Minister Hun Sen recalled how Cambodia has been actively involved with the UN in peacekeeping missions over the past 10 years.

Hun Sen recounted that the world’s largest intergovernmental organisation was established on October 24, 1945, when World War II ended with the defeat of Germany and Japan by the US, UK and Russia, primarily.

He said the UN was established with the goal of maintaining international peace and security and promoting a rules-based order with international cooperation, economic development and the means of finding peaceful solutions to disputes between member states in the hope of avoiding the outbreak of another world war, especially given the development of nuclear weapons around that time.

“Cambodia has been actively involved in maintaining peace and stability, and over the past 10 years our country has sent many ‘blue-helmet’ troops abroad. Both our men and women have gone to countries such as Sudan and South Sudan, Lebanon, the Central African Republic, Syria, Cyprus, Mali and so on,” Hun Sen said.

He said the Cambodian peacekeeping forces have specialists in engineering, medical specialists, demining operators, bomb disposal technicians and armed soldiers to provide security.

He further noted that, recently, Cambodia has become a leading country in providing opportunities to women to participate in these international missions under the UN framework.

The UN in Cambodia also marked the anniversary of Cambodia’s 66 years of membership in the organisation. In a statement, it said the UN development system in the country was working to promote peace, poverty eradication and human rights.

“We all have a role to play in supporting the UN’s work to create a better world,” it said in a tweet.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post on December 14 that over the last 10 years Cambodians could take pride in the Kingdom’s active involvement with UN missions, especially peacekeeping, humanitarian and demining missions.

He said this was all part of the ideological framework of Cambodia’s foreign policy which is focused on multilateralism, with the UN being the ultimate example of a multilateral intergovernmental organisation.

“Cambodia has always supported the UN’s activities because it is the only truly global organisation that unites all countries as members while adhering to the principles of multilateralism in addressing regional and global issues,” he said.

Ro Vannak, co-founder of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy, told The Post on December 14 that it is the pride of the Cambodian people and the government to be able to send peacekeeping forces through the UN to provide help to other countries experiencing conflict or disaster given the catastrophes that Cambodia experienced in the past and the assistance the UN provided to the Kingdom to get it back on its feet again.

“The bitter experience of Cambodia in recent decades is an unforgettable historical lesson and it is a matter of pride that the country has recovered and is now able to send its soldiers abroad as peacekeepers,” he said.

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