Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The UN at 75: Reimagining the future we want



The UN at 75: Reimagining the future we want

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People aspire for a better quality of life, particularly for their children and the next generations to come. Photo UN Cambodia

The UN at 75: Reimagining the future we want

The UN is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis with severe economic and social impacts. Will we emerge stronger and better equipped to work together? Or will distrust and isolation grow further? 2020 must be a year of dialogue, when we come together to discuss our priorities as a human family, and how we can build a better future for all.

In January 2020, we launched a global conversation to celebrate our 75th anniversary. Through surveys and dialogues, people from all walks of life were asked about their hopes and fears for the future, their priorities for international cooperation and for the UN in particular. Over one million have responded. In Cambodia, more than two thousand participated in the survey. We also listened and talked to hundreds of Cambodians in community conversations.

Through these conversations, we have heard loud and clear that people aspire for a better quality of life, particularly for their children and the next generations to come. Everyone we talked to want their rights protected to access quality healthcare, education and better jobs to live in dignity and in harmony with nature and society.

A woman in Kampong Thom best captured this collective sentiment when she said: “Our aspirations for the future are common: No matter where you come from, we all want to leave the world a better place for our children, the next generation. Education, and good jobs are the means and the ends to do so.”

We heard many enthusiastic voices to have their human rights fulfilled and respected. The notion that “fulfilling the people’s needs are just simply fulfilling people’s rights” was shared in the Phnom Penh conversations.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Young people expressed their hopes for transparent governance systems that fulfil people’s needs. Photo UN Cambodia

Meanwhile, young people expressed their hopes for transparent governance systems that fulfils people’s needs, provides equitable access to services, and empowers them to make decisions. They also shared their aspirations for gender equality and women’s empowerment. A youth told us: “People everywhere have the right to live free from all forms of violence and feel safe regardless of their ethnicity, faith or sexual orientation.”

For the UN in Cambodia, these voices remind us why and how the aspirations for peace, justice, human rights, social progress and better standards of life in larger freedoms embodied in the UN Charter 75 years ago still hold true for our time. The voices of today call on us to accelerate actions to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment. This is at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In every crisis lies an opportunity. The Covid-19 pandemic is our generation’s 1945 moment. By asking people about the future they want, we are one step closer to reimagining this post-Covid future together. The SDGs are a roadmap for humanity. They encompass almost every aspect of human and planetary wellbeing and, if met, will provide a stable and prosperous life for every person and ensure the health of the planet.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The UN in Cambodia continues to work hand-in-hand with the Cambodian people to fulfil their aspirations. Photo UN Cambodia

The pandemic also shows us the wisdom of what is already inherent in the SDGs; the challenges we face cannot be dealt with in isolation. Good health, no poverty, decent work, quality education, strong and accountable institutions and a shared responsibility to protect and promote human rights are the foundations for building back an inclusive, sustainable and equitable future.

No one can achieve this vision alone. With the Cambodian government and partners, the UN family in Cambodia will continue to work hand in hand with the Cambodian people to fulfil their aspirations. On our 75th anniversary, we reaffirm our commitment to “we the peoples”.

Together, we are stronger. Together, we can realise the future we want.

Pauline Tamesis is the UN Resident Coordinator in Cambodia. For more information about the 75th anniversary of the UN, please visit: https://www.un.org/en/un75

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the