Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
1. On behalf of the delegation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, please allow me to extend our sincere congratulations to H.E. VUK JEREMIC on his election to the Presidency of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. You can rest assured of my delegation’s full support and cooperation throughout your tenure. I have no doubt that under your able leadership this Session will bear fruitful outcomes.
2. I also wish to extend my high appreciation to H.E. NASSIR BIN ABDULZIZ AL NASSER, President of the 66th Session, for his relentless efforts in guiding us to many outstanding achievements during the past year. I would also like to convey my admiration to H.E. BAN KI-MOON for his untiring efforts to overcome many multi-facedchallenges confronting our world today.
3. Let me start by the obvious. The 21st century we live in is facing one of its most difficult moments. Never before do our nations share the pressure of this global interdependency. As economies become more and more interdependent, it is not only the opportunity for wealth creation that is multiplied, but also the opportunity for destabilizing shocks to be transmitted from one country to another. The imbalances and risks are omnipresent. In the context of declining economic prospects and mounting global challenges, collective actions are required to respond to the weakening of global governance to ensure systemic financial stability, a stable monetary system, regulations of international financial markets, and a capacity to deal with major systemic shocks. The multilateral system as devised more than half a century ago is facing challenges to deliver on their mandate as the international agenda became increasingly more complex. Obviously, the currentmultilateral system needs to be transformed drastically into a well coordinated and permeable body of institutions that can deliver innovative and feasible solutions to a globalized international society.
4. In order to respond to financial sector systemic risk in ASEAN, we have closely cooperated with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to strengthen a regional financial safeguard mechanism, called the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilaterization (CMIM), with a recent expansion of fund from 120 billion USD to 240 billion USD. We strongly believe that this regional financial arrangement will complement the Global Firewall for regional crisis resolution. ASEAN has also established a Macroeconomic and Finance Surveillance Office in Singapore to achieve a more integrated, even-handed and effective surveillance mechanism.
5. As we all struggle to overcome the effects of the global financial crisis, we should not lose sight of new challenges and threats emerging, such as obstacles to sustainable development, MDGs achievement, climate change, food insecurity and the adverse impacts of globalization in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
6. Many Developing Countries still face many obstacles to achieve all their MDGs in the allocated time frame of 2015, being too vulnerable to the global financial crisis and challenges by the debt burden and the unmet ODA commitments. Having achieved stable growth successively for a number of years, Cambodia is confident, despite its limited resources, to achieve the Cambodian MDGs by 2015 and to reduce poverty by 20% in 2012. Cambodia welcomes the adoption of the document “The Future We Want” by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro on June 2012 and strongly advocates that the MDGs should remain a fundamental milestone in the development agenda. We also call for renew efforts to enable the developing countries to ensure their Millennium Development Goals on time.
7. Climate change is one example of critical problems for the whole world, requiring immediate and concerted actions. The rapid pace of climate change could have devastating effects, particularly on small states in the Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean, with rising sea level. Other developping countries, mostly dependent on agriculture, suffer from similar negative effects, such as extreme floods and draught, affecting their livelihood. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described all these as a “real threat to international peace and security”.
8. Despite all the adversities affecting the world most vulnerable people by climate change, it is regrettable that the international community remains divided to embark on a quick and critical global response. We call on Developed Countries to reduce the green house gas in accordance to the UN principles of “common but differentiated responsibilities”. It is disappointing that much of the promises pledged since Copenhagen-2009 (COP15), Cancun-2010 (COP16) and Durban-2011 (COP17) by the developed nations have not fulfilled in a timely manner.
9. In the same vein, we are of the view that natural disaster management and cooperation mechanism should be further developed and strengthened both at regional and global level to prevent and address issues related to natural disasters that are happening more frequent due to climatic change. At the regional level, ASEAN has made great progresses in this area, of which the establishment of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, shortly called the AHA Center, is a particular result.
10. Food security is another serious issue of the present time. At the speed the world’s population growing, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) predicts that by 2030, we will need to produce 50% more food, 30% more clean water and 40% more energy. Consequently the increased competition for natural resources, bio-fuel energy versus agriculture food for human needs will only further exacerbate the situation of food security. A major global reform is needed urgently to implement the RIO+20’s recommendations on sustainable development which suggest both the need for major investments to modernize and encourage small-scale agriculture projects around the world, and the vital link in addressing the inter-linkage between energy and agricultural prices.
11. Rising oil and food prices are a common concern to the majority of countries in the world. High oil prices contribute to soaring food prices. Rising oil and food prices means increased poverty levels at a time when the global growth is still weak and the number of the unemployed and underemployed is continuously swelling in many countries.
12. Our modern global food system is highly oil-dependent, but petroleum is becoming less and less affordable. Thus there is no solution yet for the world’s worsening food crisis within current energy and agricultural system. What is needed is a major rethinking of both food and energy prices where there is a clear need to coordinate agricultural and energy policies. We can only but appeal to the world oil-producing countries to consider the negative effects of higher fuel prices and their impact on food and energy security.
13. In our regional context, ASEAN has adopted a Comprehensive Strategy on Food Security with the signing of the Emergency Rice Reserve Agreement with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, which is a permanent scheme for meeting emergency requirements.
14. The G20 have a crucial role to play in meeting these global challenges. Cambodia, as ASEAN Chair, appreciated the opportunity to represent ASEAN at the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos in June this year. Cambodia’s views reflected among others the need to sustain economic stability and structural reform for growth and employment; the urgency to improve and strengthen international financial architecture in an interconnected global economy; the imperative of completing the Doha Round and the prevention of the return of trade protectionism; and the priority for promoting more trade facilitation, which is an important conducive factor to stimulate international trade and economic growth, which all of our countries need.
15. Cambodia fully supports all priorities agreed among the G20 countries in Los Cabos to promote “trade, job creation and economic growth”, that include their determination to finalize negotiations on the “Doha Development Agenda” as soon as possible.
16. The international trade is one of the most important factor, that will bring about economic growth and job creation both in the immediate and in the longer term.
17. Since the establishment of the U.N in 1945, the global situation has changed so dramatically that there is a call for strengthening global diplomacy. Thus, it is in the interest of all of us to push for a comprehensive reform of the U.N. to reflect the diverse needs and representativeness of the world today. This reform, should be comprehensive and cover not only the Security Council, but also other U.N organs, in order to maintain their relevance and legitimacy as an effective global governance institution to cope with the present world’s reality which is different from that of the post World War II era. The General Assembly should be more empowered so that it can play a leading role in addressing today’s global problems as a democratic, deliberative policy-making organ of the UN. At the same time the ECOSOC should also be strengthened to effectively coordinate international cooperation and efforts to tackle social and economic challenges. The Security Council should be expanded in both permanent and non-permanent membership in an equitable manner so that it represents both the developed and the developing countries.
18. The reform of the U.N. will no doubt render it more effective in preserving international peace, security and stability, as well as in realizing justice in the international economic system.
19. In the spirit of the UN’s peace keeping mission for the advancement of world peace, security and development, Cambodia has contributed many hundreds of men to the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations in Africa, especially in South Sudan, Lebanon. Nowadays under the umbrella of the UNPKO, we have 149 men in Lebanon for demining, one military police unit and one medical unit in South Sudan and we are ready to dispatch more troops in other UNKPOs.
20. With experiences in working closely with the UN and its own experiences in ending civil war thanks to its win-win policy and post-conflict management, in particular economic and social development and national reconciliation, Cambodia wishes to contribute more effectively, through the UNSC, to the cause of peace, security and peaceful settlement of conflicts nowadays in many parts of the world. To this end, Cambodia has presented for the very first time, since joining the United Nations in 1955, its candidature as a Non-Permanent Member of the UNSC for the year 2013-2014, for which the voting will be held next month. I wish to note also that Cambodia has never occupied since 1955 any seat in the UN system, and her candidature has been endorsed and supported by all ASEAN Member States.
Before I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to stress that Cambodia deeply regrets for the acts of violence against the US consular mission in Benghazi, causing the death of 4 American diplomats, including the US Ambassador, even though we understand the legitimate anger of disregarding toward the Muslim religion.