UN Resident Coordinator in Cambodia Pauline Tamesis and Prime Minister Hun Sen held their annual meeting at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh to discuss social protection and opportunities for sustainable development, as well as the progress that had been made.
The meeting discussed the issues of social protection and the data for sustainable development, as the government prepares for the Voluntary National Review of its national report on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York City, in the US, in July
Key sustainable development issues were also on the table, as highlighted in the five-year UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) to accelerate the implementation of the Cambodia Sustainable Development Goals (CSDGs).
“In moving forward, high priority attention will be needed to balance economic growth with safeguarding the natural environment, protecting human rights and promoting social goals to ensure that the poor are protected from shocks, that prosperity is equitably shared, and that future generations also benefit from today’s decisions on how resources are managed,” Tamesis said.
She added that under the new UNDAF, the UN provided financial and technical support to the government to develop and implement plans, policies and frameworks to help prioritise issues affecting the most vulnerable.
Hun Sen’s personal assistant Eang Sophallet told reporters after the meeting that the UN had expressed gratitude for last year’s development, and that the government and the UN country team met every year, with this being the fifth time they had done so.
“Pauline Tamesis informed Prime Minister Hun Sen in the meeting that the UN expressed congratulations on the tasks implemented in the past year."
“The UN raised three points – first, social protection; second, data for sustainable development; and third, the issue of participation in reviewing the national report on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in New York,” Sophallet said.
He said with regards to the issue of social protection, the UN raised the facilitation between institutions and infrastructure in building capacity, social protection and finance, and pairing social protection with sustainable development.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen clarified that in the past, the Cambodian government had provided the budget, regularly increasing it, for such development,” he said.
Sophallet said Hun Sen informed Tamesis that Cambodia had initially begun the provision of social protection for pregnant women and then for women working at factories before it was expanded to poor women.
Electricity prices had been reduced, infrastructure improved and wells dug, all of which were examples of social protection.