Cambodia readies Phnom Penh Statement for ASEM

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Luy David at his office. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Cambodia is preparing the draft of the Phnom Penh Statement on the Post-Covid-19 Socio-Economic Recovery for adoption by the leaders of the Asia and Europe during the 13th ASEM Summit hosted by Cambodia in November, Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary of State Luy David said.

“The draft of Phnom Penh Statement on the Post-Covid-19 Socio-Economic Recovery initiated by Cambodia will be adopted by the ASEM leaders during the 13th ASEM Summit”, he said on Friday.

“This is a testament to Cambodia’s diplomatic talent and capability as well as an actual factor that Asia-Europe partners have supported the government of Cambodia in promoting multilateral mechanisms, economic cooperation, connectivity and resolving common issues between the two regions,” he added.

David said that under the chairmanship of Cambodia, all Asia-Europe countries have a closer and more cohesive cooperation, especially in the context of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic which all countries around the world are fighting.

David who is also the head of the ASEM 13 National Secretariat, said that previously, Cambodia had committed to host the summit in physical form, but the safety of leaders of ASEM countries as well as all Cambodians during the Covid-19 pandemic is a main priority.

As a new strain of the virus is spreading around the world, Cambodia has decided to host this summit virtually, by video-conference. The Kingdom will still chair the ASEM 13 summit and Prime Minister Hun Sen will open it on November 25, he said.

Originally ASEM 13 was scheduled for November 16 to 17, 2020, in Phnom Penh. Due to the pandemic, the summit was first delayed to mid-2021, then finally to November 25-26.

ASEM is an intergovernmental process established in 1996 to foster dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe.

Its foremost event, the ASEM Summit, is a biennial meeting between the Heads of State and Government, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the secretary-general of Asean. In addition, ASEM ministers and senior officials also meet in their respective sectoral dialogues.

The initial ASEM Partnership in 1996 consisted of 15 EU Member States, seven Asean Member States, China, Japan, South Korea and the European Commission. Today, ASEM comprises 53 Partners: 30 European and 21 Asian countries, the European Union and the Asean Secretariat.

According to WHO, globally, as of 5.11pm CEST, July 23, there have been 192,284,207 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 4,136,518 deaths. A total of 3,605,386,928 vaccine doses have been administered.