Cambodia is commemorating today's 45th Anniversary of Victory over Genocide on January 7, 1979, as the Kingdom adapts a forward-looking vision towards earning developed country status by 2050

The commemoration event is being held at the capital's Koh Pich, in the presence of former Prime Minister Hun Sen, who remains president of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and Prime Minister Hun Manet, as well as top leaders of the CPP and state institutions. Numerous foreign diplomats are also part of the 20,000 strong crowd.

Addressing the event, Hun Sen put the spotlight on several significant dates, from the coup against then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk in 1970, which he said was backed by a “foreign power” and led to the loss of around one million lives, to the rule of the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 until its fall in 1979, which was responsible for the deaths of an additional three million.

He said that in the 45 years since the victory day on January 7, 1979, Cambodia has unexpectedly changed, especially in the 25 years since comprehensive peace was achieved through his win-win policy in 1998, with the eventual reintegration of the remaining Khmer Rouge soldiers.

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He added that although many accomplishments have been reached, Cambodia’s development goals do not end here, saying it has a long way to go towards building the country into one which is "advanced and civilised, ensuring that there will be no more national breakup, war or genocide".

“Time has tested our will and ability. We will be able to achieve this excellent goal as long as we can maintain strong national unity and determined ownership of our country, along with the right leadership,” he said, putting his trust in the new generation to make sure the ambitious goal is accomplished.

Hun Sen said the next five years will be critical ones, as the Kingdom lays the foundation for sustainable, inclusive and equitable development toward upper-middle-income status in 2030 and high-income economy by 2050.