Prime Minister Hun Manet instructed all capital-provincial administrations to celebrate the International Day of Older Persons on October 1.

In a September 28 notice, Manet explained that the occasion aims to promote effective protection aimed at improving the well-being of older persons. The day also serves to acknowledge the important role of the elderly, who created valuable resources and provide a lot of knowledge and experience to the younger generations.

“The government considers Cambodian and international older persons Day as a day to commemorate the merits of older people and our ancestors, who built a precious legacy and left it for this generation and the next,” he said.

In order to organise this day, and to help Cambodian people of all ages to better understand its meaning, the government has set the topic for this year as “Helping Older Persons, is like Helping all of Us”.

The circular instructed the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and the Cambodian National Committee for the Elderly (CNCE) to cooperate with ministries, institutions, development partners, NGOs, and relevant international organisations to celebrate the day on October 1.

“The capital and provincial administrations must organise this day and encourage people of all ages to participate to raise awareness more broadly,” it added.

Manet reminded all sub-national administrations to continue to provide interventions to promote the creation of more senior citizens’ associations, in line with government policy.

“They should pay special attention to helping the elderly, the disabled, the impoverished and the homeless. We ask for the continued support of our development partners, NGOs and international organisations,” he said.

“Cambodia has many traditions, a rich cultural heritage and other achievements that have been preserved until present. All these legacies are from the merits and wise advices of our forefathers and the elderly,” Manet continued.

“The advice of the elderly is one of the solid foundations of the moral and ethical education of our society. In order to express our gratitude for the noble merits of the elderly who have left behind many achievements and legacies, the government has developed a series of national legal documents and policies since the day of liberation on January 7, 1979, which aim to at improving their well-being. These include the National Social Security Fund, the Persons with Disabilities Foundation (PWDF) and the National Social Assistance Fund [NSAF],” he added.

The government created the CNCE in 2011 with the responsibilities of developing policy to improve the well-being of the elderly.

He explained that the good deeds and gestures that we do – especially helping older people – are like helping ourselves. It is important to ensure that the good gestures of the previous generation are left for the next generation to follow and learn from.

“We are full of hope that the next generation will support us, as we have done for our own older persons,” he said.

The prime minister advised professors and teachers in public and private educational institutions to pay attention to providing good moral education and traditions to their students, especially the importance of respecting and caring for older persons, which is a tradition of the Khmer culture.

He asked family members in all communities to continue to strengthen the morals and traditions of the Khmer and to educate the younger generation to respect the advice of their parents and grandparents.

“I urge all compatriots to please work together to nurture the elderly, people with disabilities, the impoverished and the homeless. Ensure they have a place to live by building special places for them in pagodas, and provide them with as much food and shelter as possible,” he added.