Phnom Penh (FN), Sep. 9 – After successfully concluding the 7th GMS Summit, GMS leaders endorsed and adopted a new Strategic Framework, the third for the GMS program.

“We are certainly starting this new decade under a difficult crisis arising from the COVID19 pandemic, with its serious and prolonged impacts on public health and the economy. Although there are now glimmers of hope, with the advent of the vaccines, the general expectation is that massive efforts are still needed to significantly control the disease and to bring back sustained growth to our economies”, the premier stressed.

“Moreover, as GMS-2030 has rightly underscored, there are other longer term and broader trends that are now approaching critical stages and threatening the entire world. We are now being warned about the [climate emergency], and we are already feeling the very real effects of worsening natural disasters. We are also seeing the continuing threats to global economic growth and emergence of unilaterally restrictive and protective trade policies.”

“However, we in the GMS have shown time and again our resilience and our ability to take practical and results-focused actions to address common concerns. Now, more than ever, we must realize the crucial importance of cooperation and collaborative actions. The threats and challenges that we face have impacts that straddle and spill over borders and, therefore, need joint actions. I believe that our joint efforts have a significant value over and above the sum of our individual national efforts in addressing common problems”, he added.

In this regard, Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen urged that all GMS countries commit to further strengthen the cooperation and to resolutely pursue the strategies and priority actions charted in the two documents that they endorsed on 9 September 2021.