Host of ASEM Stands as Cambodia’s Priceless Opportunity

Royal Government of Cambodia is very committed and positive about the country's role as the host of the 13th ASEM Summit 2020, while prominent Cambodian scholars and senior official agree with headed direction.

Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia late last month announced officially the role of Cambodia as the host of the 13th ASEM Summit in 2020, scheduled for Nov. 16-17, 2020 in Phnom Penh under the theme of "Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth".

He underlined in his closing remarks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation's annual conference recently that since Cambodia became an ASEM member in 2004, Cambodia has always valued ASEM as a very important forum for cooperation between Asia and Europe bringing about fostered mutual interests.

Today, no one can deny the value and importance of ASEM in terms of politics, diplomacy and inter-regional relations. Since its establishment in 1996, ASEM has played a key role as a dialogue and cooperation platform that connects Asia and Europe, Samdech Techo Hun Sen continued.

ASEM is also a platform that provides Cambodia with many opportunities to accelerate and deepen its regional and global integration.

"The upcoming 13th ASEM Summit is an immense historic and diplomatic event for us. The hosting of this summit is a great opportunity for Cambodia to affirm at the highest level our commitment to strengthen multilateral system, participate in global efforts to tackle global challenges, and improve the global economy.

As Cambodia is proudly heading toward the direction, prominent scholars of the country expressed their perspective of the role as the host of this summit.

Dr. Chheang Vannarith, President of the Asian Vision Institute (AVI), shared his insights with AKP team that, in terms of foreign affairs, the hosting role proves that Cambodia as a member of an international community is responsible for the country's engagement in ASEM.

The meeting is not a useless investment. It demonstrates Cambodia's effort in maintaining the world security, stability and development, which is indeed its duty as an active member of an international community.

It also helps promote Cambodia's reputation. It further introduces Cambodia's culture, civilisation and development to the world, as some countries still have limited knowledge about Cambodia. Some know about Cambodia's past, such as poverty, issue of landmine, and genocide.

In other words, the role as the host is an opportunity for Cambodia to present the reality about the country and its development to the international community, he added.

At the same time, it builds awareness among Cambodians about the significance of international as well as foreign affairs. Observably, Cambodians do not take global affairs and foreign politics seriously. This will help them understand more. The smaller our country, the more information we should have. We cannot make a right decision without adequate information.

Cambodians should actively get updated with international affairs. Of course, domestic matters are primary, yet we should spend time to follow up the global evolution, too, because it can directly or indirectly implicate our living. If we understand it, we can adapt to it. Legitimacy of an administration or government does not depend only on the internal factor, but also on the external players as it is an international recognition.

The international recognition helps legitimise an administration or government. If a government is isolated, its legitimacy will degrade accordingly. The meeting also benefits Cambodia in the sense that it allows bilateral dialogue, which is more comprehensive than the multilateral discussion. It stands as opportunities for both bilateral and multilateral levels, reaffirming that Cambodia is not isolated and is recoganised by international community, stressed Dr. Chheang Vannarith.

Dr. Kin Phea, Director General of International Relations Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, brought to light major qualifications for Cambodia's readiness to be the host of ASEM Summit.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for Cambodia to organise such a vital event to be attended by more than 50 government leaders in Asia and Europe. There are series of about 5, 6 or 7 meetings to be hosted under ASEM Summit. It will promote Cambodia's reputation.

Cambodia was once severely battered by wars resulting in complete national breakdown. Now, Cambodia has developed bringing about the country's equal status with other peers in the regions. ASEM is a vital diplomatic gate for Cambodia to foster its collaboration framework within the regions and beyond.

So, the commitment of the Royal Government of Cambodia as a host of the ASEM is the best decision, because Cambodia is a small nation but has demonstrated utmost effort to fulfill its role in international platform. The role as ASEM Summit host will further promote confidence of foreign investors in Cambodia and in its international cooperation framework regionally and internationally. Cambodia can benefit a lot from hosting the summit.

Along with the Cambodian scholars, Under Secretary of State and Spokesperson at the Ministry of Information H.E. Meas Sophorn shared his personal optimism for Cambodia's role as ASEM Summit host.

The host of the 13th ASEM Summit comes as a national pride of the Royal Government of Cambodia under the leadership of Samdech Techo Prime Minister who has been working hard to promote national image and honour at the international arena. The host of the in-coming 13th ASEM Summit in 2020 is made possible through the endeavour of the Royal Government in bringing about complete peace and development.

The role as ASEM Summit host also demonstrates high value and confidence given to Cambodia. Cambodia can reap many benefits from the 13th ASEM. First, we can profile national reputation and honour at international arena. Second, we can prove to the world that Cambodia under the leadership of Samdech Techo Prime Minister is peaceful and with social order. Cambodia is developing and fully capable to ensure security and hospitality for participating delegations during the meeting.

Dr. Kin Phea continued that the role as ASEM Summit host has both the plus and minus. However, Cambodian scholars remain very positive about the event.

Being the host of the summit, Cambodia has to handle with some financial challenges as we need to cover the expenditures. But in return, we will yield enormous benefits from the meeting. Beside better reputation at international arena, we can build trust among foreign investors who will increase their confidence in peace and political stability and management capacity of the Royal Government.

We can also attract more international tourists because through such international event, there will be broad media coverage around the world. The world will pay specific attention to Cambodia. It is sort of an advertisement about Cambodia to the world. Additionally, it is an opportunity for the promotion of Cambodia's cultural richness globally. I am very convinced that Cambodia is on a right track of its diplomatic policy choice, he said.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press