Phnom Penh (FN), Sep. 25 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen expressed his strong hope for a strengthened multilateralism with the United Nations at the core to galvanize international solidarity for the global community to succeed in overcoming the COVID19 crisis, advancing peace, sustainable development, and shared prosperity for all.

“Multilateralism is our hope and we look to the UN as our [beacon of hope],” the premier addressed at the high-level General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (76th UNGA) held on 25 September 2021, in New York.

The premier expressed his concern that the world still has to tackle a myriad of other pressing challenges such as geo-political competition and rivalries between major powers, technological and trade wars, territorial armed conflicts, terrorism and transnational crimes, and Climate Change. The pressure on international peace and security is as great as ever.

“History has told us time and again that interference and worse, military options to impose different systems of governance are not the solutions. Far from it, they have only led to many more deaths, human suffering and misery, social and economic strife. Cambodia is the real life example and has experienced the worst tragedy; and sadly, we are now witnessing the repetition of the same policies. If the recent events in Afghanistan, and many more before it, are lessons to be learnt from, there is great merit to respect the wishes of each nation and their people's rights to self determination,” the premier said.

“That is why there is now a compelling reason to strengthen multilateralism and rules based international cooperation. Countries, large and small, differ in their history, culture, traditions, ways of life and political organization. They should not be hindered by the imposition of unilateral sanctions, embargoes or other coercive economic measures that violate international law and the very principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.”