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Cambodia preps for Olympic general assembly

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CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun (centre). CHHORN NORN

Cambodia preps for Olympic general assembly

The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) is paying close attention to preparations ahead of its hosting of the 41st Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly, scheduled to take place in Phnom Penh from October 1-5.

CAMSOC, under the auspices of Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh, has already received the support of Prime Minister Hun Sen to host the rare OCA General Assembly and is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to welcome the high-profile leaders of about 400 major sports institutions from around the world.

According to CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun, 400 sports leaders from around the world, including the 45 OCA members, heads of the Olympic committees of all countries and representatives of major international sports federations, will attend the meeting.

The host countries of the Olympic and Asian Games will also be present, he said.

In preparation for the event, Minister of Tourism and CAMSOC permanent vice-president Thong Khon convened an emergency meeting on August 23 to assign specific tasks to each of its sub-committees.

Khon, who is also president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), told all parties to take special care with their duties, as the general assembly is a great opportunity to draw international support for Cambodia's hosting of the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games in 2023.

To make it a success, Chamroeun said Tea Banh had recommended that CAMSOC seek full international support for hosting the events.

“We know that without this support, our task of hosting the games will be more difficult. Thus, we will do as much as we can to mobilise the support of many nations ahead of hosting the 2023 SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games – and in preparation for the 2029 Asian Youth Games,” he said.

Chamroeun said the best time for Cambodia to clarify its purpose is while the international community and the international media are all together in Phnom Penh. Cambodia must form strong relationships with the many organisations and federations that would be in attendance, so they will work well with Kingdom’s own sporting bodies.

In addition, it will strengthen Cambodia’s sports and diplomacy policy and give the sports movements of the world an opportunity to examine the Kingdom’s potential more closely.

“Hosting the OCA is a rare opportunity for the international community, as well as the OCA, see the specificity and potential in sports and the economy. Cambodia is completely peaceful and secure from Covid-19, which is why we elected to host the meeting here,” said Chamroeun.

“The general assembly was originally planned to be held in China, but had to be postponed. We were lucky enough to be given permission to host it right here in the Kingdom. Tourism minister Khon has appointed specialist committees and sub-committees to prepare accommodation, food, transportation, security, and hospitality. We are very excited to be able to offer a warm welcome to the delegates,” he added.

In addition to the OCA general assembly, Khon also announced a number of their opportunities for the Kingdom to host international visitors, including the SEA Games Expo, Cambodia 2023 Expo and Tourism Expo. All of the delegates who attend these events will have a chance to register for visits to Angkor Wat and other important tourism sites.

“We have prepared a budget for taking our guests to the main tourist destinations in Cambodia. Each member of the committee understands what their roles are and precisely what they need to do. We are waiting on final approval of this plan, but believe it will drive a successful hosting of the games,” said Chamroeun.

Prime Minister Hun Sen will deliver a keynote address on the opening day of the general assembly to demonstrate the government’s strong will to build the Olympic movement globally and promote it in Cambodia.

“The prime minister’s speech will show the government’s intent to build a better world in accordance with the Olympic movement, which aims to build a harmonious world through sports,” said Chamroeun.

He claimed that the 41st general assembly will be a catalyst to attract the attention of the world to Cambodia, because the delegates are from nations far beyond the region.

“The major sports organisations of the world will attend this meeting, so this is a chance to build our global reputation ahead of our historic first-ever hosting duties of the SEA Games,” he said.

“We want all countries to notice our sporting potential. When they arrive, they will see the extent of our infrastructure and note the changing face of Phnom Penh. Our development has progressed smoothly under the shadow of peace, bringing economic stability and good security. Those who see it will describe the true Cambodia to the world,” he added.

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