Phnom Penh (FN), Sep. 12 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, in his capacity as the rotating chair of ASEAN in 2022, said that socio-economic situation in ASEAN as well as in the whole world remains fragile and divided.

The statement was made at the 2022 ASEAN Leadership and Partnership Forum under the theme "Partnerships for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN", held on Monday in Phnom Penh.

“We are proud that, on a long journey over the past 55 years, ASEAN has become a community full of peace, security, stability, dynamics and prosperity. Indeed, while ASEAN has been recovering from the COVID19 crisis, and moving back towards sustainable growth, the current socio-economic situation in ASEAN as well as in the whole world remains fragile and divided,” the premier underlined.

“The prolongation of the Russia-Ukraine War has hampered socio-economic recovery, by exacerbating inflationary pressures and worsening congestion in the global transportation system and supply chains, especially in the food industry. At the same time, the tensions of geopolitical competition in some strategic regions, including those in Asia, will continue to pose problems and risks to regional and global stability and prosperity,” the premier added.

Samdech continued, “These challenges highlight limited international cooperation and mutual trust, which require a strong commitment to re-establish cohesive and extensive partnerships in both regional and global frameworks. I would like to remind that during the early outbreaks of COVID19, countries closed borders and restricted cross-border contacts between people and goods because, at that time, we did not fully understand this disease".

"Having said that, the lessening of the outbreaks to manageable levels, as we see today, stems from the re-strengthening of cooperation and partnership, through the sharing of vaccines, providing financial assistances, and sharing of technical knowledge in a spirit of understanding and helping one another”.

“In this spirit, in the current socio-economic situation, we must not only be united, but also strengthen our close partnership and cooperation in line with the theme "ASEAN A.C.T: Addressing Challenges Together", set by Cambodia as the chair of ASEAN in 2022, in order to continue to maintain our progress towards a bright future and common prosperity,” the premier added.

For Forum today, Samdech would like to encourage frank discussions in the spirit of mutual understanding, in order to achieve real fruitful results, and show the world our commitment to continue to strengthen ASEAN Leadership and Partnership amid turmoil and decline in mutual trust, by using peaceful dialogues as a problem-solving mechanism.