Cambodia is hosting the International Conference on “Responsibility to Protect at 10: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities in Asia Pacific” under the theme of “Cambodia Plays Roles as a Forerunner to Prevent Atrocities in ASEAN Regions” at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel on Feb. 26-27.
In his opening remarks, Samdech Techo Hun Sen laid stress on the significance of the international conference that discusses and re-monitors the achievements and challenges for the last 10 years as well as the goals and duties of the Asia-Pacific region on the foundation of “Responsibility to Protect” after the approval of the United Nations in 2005.
The Cambodian premier expressed his pleasure that Cambodia (a country that has vast achievements) is a host of the conference to share the world in solving violence and atrocities during the regime of Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer Rouge), adding that Cambodia has tried her best to seek peace and establish the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) for the prosecution of crimes committed by Khmer Rouge leaders.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen continued that Cambodia has also simultaneously taken the experience from the dark history to ensure peace, national reconciliation, state of law and national socio-economic development. The conference has given opportunities to Cambodia, too, to study experience in other countries for dealing with atrocity issues as well as to manage the risks from those violent crimes, he said.
Taking the opportunity, Samdech Techo Hun Sen showed Cambodia’s determination in accordance with the principles of “Responsibility to Protect,” approved by the UN in 2005, and recalled the achievements that Cambodia has gained so far.
“The approval of the principles of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ means sovereign rights has been highlighted for the responsibility for anti-genocide, crime war, against humanity crime, minority clearance,” he underlined.
The Cambodian prime minister further linked the principles of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ to ASEAN’s context for strengthening constitution of each country by connecting to some principles such as state law, good governance, democracy and constitutional government.
“For ASEAN, we have been leading to the creation of ASEAN community which attention has been paid to each other, that member states not only determine to develop economy, but also enhance the welfare of people’s living, including minority ethnics, women and children,” he stated.
Some positive duties that Cambodia has been carrying out under the principles of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ in ASEAN’s context were addressed by Samdech Techo Prime Minister during the auspicious event.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen highly valued the organizing committee of the forum, mainly Cambodia Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP), under the leadership of His Royal Highness Samdech Norodom Sirivudh, Chairman of the Board of CICP, and Patron, Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, which has Dr. Alex Belami as Chairman of the committee.
The conference has had a mixture of plenary keynotes speeches by foreign specialists, representatives from the UN and the region, international organizations, government, and other sectors.