The Ministry of Information is preparing to publish 5,000 copies of Cambodia 2021 ahead of the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which Cambodia is hosting in the middle of this year, for distribution to delegates and participants.
Information minister Khieu Kanharith said on February 26 that the book focused on images and short articles on key aspects of Cambodia and highlights the government’s efforts to fight Covid-19.
“The book also highlights the government’s efforts to conduct border checks, Covid-19 vaccination, Covid-19 screening of foreigners, and allowing the international Westerdam cruise ship, which had more than 1,400 passengers, to dock at Sihanoukville port in February 2020,” he said.
Ministry spokesman Phos Sovann said on February 28 that the ministry’s working group would make every effort to publish the book before the ASEM summit.
“We plan to publish this book in May or June ahead of the ASEM summit. About 5,000 copies will be printed in Khmer for the first phase. We also plan to print in foreign languages such as English, French and Chinese,” he said.
Sovann confirmed that the book’s content was prepared by the working group with the international photography group contributing.
Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun supported the book, saying it was good to bring a message from Cambodia to the international community. In addition to providing this book, he said Cambodia should also present its position on promoting respect for human rights and the democratic process, which is at the core of Asia-Europe cooperation.
“In the past, the EU has taken action against Cambodia by withdrawing 20 per cent of its Everything But Arms trade scheme in August 2020. I think in a political dialogue forum like this, Cambodia should take the opportunity to show its efforts to respect human rights and promote the democratic process,” he said.
Chanroeun said demonstrating Cambodia’s commitment to promoting respect for human rights and the democratic process is an important task that can enhance cooperative relations. It also builds trust between Cambodia and countries in the region, especially countries that respect these values.
Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said providing true information about Cambodia through this book to the international community will make others better aware of Cambodia, the people, politics and the country’s development.
“ASEM is important and beneficial for Cambodia, as it will highlight Cambodia’s increasingly important role in regional and international affairs. As chair of the meeting, Cambodia also has an opportunity to come up with its own regional vision,” he said.
The 13th ASEM summit was postponed in mid-November last year due to the Covid-19 crisis, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Koy Kuong hasd told The Post.