Phnom Penh (FN), Nov. 2 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Manet congratulated Battambang city for becoming the first Cambodian city to be inducted into UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), according to Samdech Thipadei’s social media accounts on 1 November 2023.

On 31 October 2023, Battambang becomes the first-ever Cambodian city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Its designation as a creative city of gastronomy, is a testimony to Battambang’s longstanding efforts and commitment to harnessing culture and creativity for sustainable urban development.

The inclusion of Battambang as a UNESCO Creative City in the Gastronomy category not only showcases its exceptional cuisine but also leverages gastronomy to enhance local development and global cultural exchange.

According to UNESCO, on World Cities Day, 55 cities join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), following their designation by UNESCO director general Audrey Azoulay. New cities, including Battambang of Cambodia, were acknowledged for their strong commitment to harnessing culture and creativity as part of their development strategies, and displaying innovative practices in human-centred urban planning. With the latest additions, the Network now counts 350 cities in more than one hundred countries, representing seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music.

In 2023, UNESCO Cambodia provided technical assistance to the Royal Government of Cambodia and facilitated capacity building activities for the promotion of the UCCN organised by the Battambang municipality together with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in Battambang.

Local dishes including Nem Battambang (soft fish), Prahok Battambang, Amok Battambang, Kralan Battambang (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo tube), Sangvak Battambang, Papaya Salad Battambang, Kantuy Hes Battambang, Rice Paper Battambang, Teuk Kroeung Battambang are among the most popular dishes at the heart of the daily life of people in Battambang.