The 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) was officially opened here this morning at the Peace Palace under the presidency of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Addressing at the opening ceremony, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said after 45 years, ASEAN today has became a closely-integrated political and economic entity, and influential player in Asia and indispensable strategic partner of major countries and organizations in the world.
At this auspicious event, Samdech Techo Hun Sen also highlighted the role of Cambodia as a full member of ASEAN. “Cambodia is certainly proud of having made positive contribution to ASEAN according to its capacity and ability in bringing about such progress since it became a full member of ASEAN in 1999,” he said.
“We are proud that during this period Cambodia was able to make considerable progress. ASEAN membership has allowed Cambodia to strengthen integration with the region and the international Community,” said the Cambodian premier, stressing that at the same time, Cambodia has been strictly fulfilling her role in ASEAN to build a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious regional community, as well as transform ASEAN into a model of regional cooperation with global importance.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen highly appreciated the ASEAN achievements, which are enormous and of great significance. Those achievements underline the strong commitment and political will of ASEAN to continue working closely together in the ASEAN spirit of unity and solidarity, friendship and cooperation, he pointed out.
This ASEAN spirit symbolizes the theme for this year under Cambodia’s Chairman of ASEAN “ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny,” to reaffirm ASEAN’s undivided attention and political commitment to work, both collectively and individually, toward the successful realization of the ASEAN Community by 2015 and beyond as cohesive family, living in political, security, economic and socio-cultural harmony, and its rules-based, peaceful and economically strong, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said.
However, he added, despite the achievements, ASEAN still continue to face challenges both globally and regionally such as the fragility of the economic recovery of developed countries, coupled with prolonged severe debt crisis in Europe, the ongoing social and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, high oil prices, food and energy security, climate change, natural disasters, terrorism and trans-national crime, etc., which sill pose a great threat to the sustainability of socio-economic development of ASEAN achieved over the last four decades and the success of our effort towards realizing a full ASEAN Community in 2015.
“Within the region, although the development gap among ASEAN members has been noticeably narrowed, it is still huge and requires us to double our efforts to promote further growth and improve equitable distribution of the fruits of growth at both national and regional among member countries,” he underlined.
On these issues, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said ASEAN Foreign Ministers have a crucial coordinating role to play in ASEAN community building, especially in addressing issues relating to political-security cooperation and external relations.
“Today’s Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers is very significant as it coincides with the celebration of the 45th founding anniversary of ASEAN, this year. It bears noting, on this occasion, that ASEAN has achieved many important milestones in the past 45 years since its establishment in 1967,” said H.E. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chair of the 45th AMM.
After successfully uniting all Southeastern Asian Nations under a single umbrella, with the inclusion of Cambodia in 1999, ASEAN has been making significant gains in deepening its integration, he added.
ASEAN has been making steady progress in consolidating solidarity and unity within ASEAN and in deepening cooperation with all our Dialogue Partners, in order to build an economically sound and socially vibrant ASEAN Community, as well as contributing to peace and prosperity in the region, he said.
“ASEAN must continue its concerted efforts to maintain its centrality in many regional architectures initiated by ASEAN, such as ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the East Asia Summit (EAS), and the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus, in order to ensure the important role of ASEAN and to advance its interests,” said H.E. Hor Namhong.
The Kingdom of Cambodia has been hosting the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (45th AMM), Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC), 19th ASEAN Regional Forum (19th ARF), 2nd East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (2nd EAS FMM) and other related meetings in Phnom Penh from July 6 to 13.
The ASEAN members are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia. Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.