Cambodia vows to strengthen ASEAN's centrality for security

Cambodia


Phnom Penh, Dec 30 : Cambodia, the incoming chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2022, vowed to strengthen the bloc's centrality in order to maintain and uphold security, peace and prosperity, Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said. Speaking during a briefing here, Sokhonn said the country will reinforce multilateralism and multilateral processes through ASEAN-led mechanisms and concerted actions that will remain open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based, reports Xinhua news agency. He said the kingdom will also foster mutual trust, respect, interest, and understanding in accordance with the principles and objectives laid out in the UN Charter, ASEAN Charter, and Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, among others. "ASEAN Centrality will be further strengthened in the face of rising anti-globalization sentiments, unilateralism and protectionism, while promoting the ASEAN Way, unity in diversity, caring and sharing community, and the culture of peace," he said. Sokhonn, who is also a Deputy Prime Minister, said Cambodia will promote ASEAN's spirit as a united family. He added that the kingdom will also do its best to reenergize and expand bloc's partnerships with external partners in order to maintain regional peace and stability, and to enhance the ASEAN community building efforts. Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said Cambodia will endeavour to steer ASEAN's collective efforts to promote an action-oriented approach that is based on openness, honesty, good faith, solidarity, and harmony within the bloc, so as to effectively address the common challenges facing the region. "Also, a foreseeable priority for us is to ensure more satisfactory outcomes of ASEAN efforts to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic. "In this regard, Cambodia commits to working closely with ASEAN and development partners to sustain ASEAN as a region of critical importance for global trade, investment and supply chains through, among others, generating maximum benefits from the existing free trade agreements and especially the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which will enter into force on January 1, 2022," he added. Sorasak said Cambodia will guide the bloc to accelerate and harmonise ASEAN's objectives in deepening regional and global integration process and building back stronger from the pandemic with inclusiveness, competitiveness, resilience, sustainability and equitability. ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. /IANS




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