In his address at the Asia-Pacific Summit in Nepal on Saturday, Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed “deep concern” over the decision of some “greatest power” countries to withdraw from international agreements, while expressing pride in Cambodia for its “strong political stability”.
The Asia-Pacific Summit 2018, which began on Friday and is to end on Monday in Kathmandu, was organised by the South Korea-based Universal Peace Federation with support from the government of Nepal.
It was attended by leaders from the Asia-Pacific region, including India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Hun Sen left Cambodia for the summit, which was to “primarily focus on the peace process, conflict, climate change and strengthening marriage and the family system”, on Thursday.
He returned on Saturday night.
Hun Sen also held “bilateral talks” with Nepalese leaders, including President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli.
Hun Sen witnessed the signing of four agreements on bilateral cooperation with Nepal, involving air transport, visa exemptions for diplomats and government passport holders, and memorandums to open an embassy in Nepal.
In his remarks on the theme Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Independence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values at the opening of the summit, which was attended by 1,500 guests,
including heads of state, government leaders, parliamentarians and religious leaders, Hun Sen hailed the summit as “absolutely significant” for all given the current climate.
“At the moment, the world is facing many challenges which are interrelated and systematic as they result from changes in the world structure, such as trade wars, poverty, terrorism, climate change, food insecurity, the decline and loss of moral living, forced evictions, natural disasters and arms races.
“These are threatening the development, security and harmonisation of the world,” Hun Sen said.
Cambodia deeply concerned
While he did not mention the “greatest power” countries by name, the phrase seems to refer to the US under the administration of President Donald Trump, which has withdrawn from five significant international agreements since he took office in January last year.
Trump’s controversial decisions include withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Unesco, the Iran nuclear deal and the UN Human Rights Council.
“Being a developing country, Cambodia is deeply concerned over the decisions of some of the greatest powers countries to withdraw from international agreements. This might reflect a threat to the core of . . . international law and order.
“Those unilateral actions have undermined state-state relations and stimulated tension in the international community,” he said.
The prime minister went on to express pride in Cambodia’s “strong political stability”, while praising the Kingdom for becoming a lower middle-income country and a “new tiger economy” in Asia, with a strong annual growth rate of 7.7 per cent over the past two decades.
“Based on Cambodia’s experiences, [we] urge inclusive growth which requires peace and security. Peace, strong political stability, security and good public order bring about inclusive and sustainable economic development, [and] the positive progress in multiparty democracy in Cambodia,” he said.