The Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday lauded Prime Minister Hun Sen’s participation at the World Trade Organization’s Aid for Trade Global Review in Geneva as a great success.
Mr Hun Sen was in Switzerland from Wednesday to Friday, where he also attended the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council. He returned to the Kingdom on Saturday.
“He highly appreciated the WTO’s support for economic diversification in developing countries and least-developed countries,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday. “[He] underlined Cambodia’s belief in benefiting from globalisation and international cooperation, based on multilateral rules and efforts to fulfil her obligations under the WTO.”
The ministry noted that Cambodia has achieved an annual economic growth average of 7.7 percent in the last two decades.
It said that in Geneva, Mr Hun Sen announced the Cambodia Trade Integration Strategy 2019-2023.
In a Facebook post upon returning to the Kingdom on Saturday, Mr Hun Sen thanked those who supported him during his visit.
“I wish to say thank you to all Cambodian people in Europe who welcomed me in Geneva,” he said. “It is a reflection of love and strong support [for] Hun Sen, who leads and develops the country to become prosperous.”
“I wish all countrymen happiness and good luck,” Mr Hun Sen added.
During his visit, Mr Hun Sen held bilateral meetings with foreign leaders and dignitaries, including Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the WTO, Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the Executive Secretariat for the Enhanced Integrated Framework, Ville Skinnari, Minister of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland, and Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
According to the ministry, Ms Bachelet met with Mr Hun Sen to discuss issues concerning human rights in the Kingdom.
It said Mr Hun Sen stressed the government’s commitment in improving conditions in the Kingdom.
“[Mr Hun Sen] stressed that although many have [negatively] painted human rights in Cambodia, we have made great efforts to develop the country with adherence to democracy and the protection and promotion of human rights,” the ministry said. “Ms Michelle Bachelet underlined that the UNHRC had recognised Samdech Techo’s leadership that brought about significant progress in social and economic rights for the Cambodian people.”
“She expressed her appreciation to the Royal Government of Cambodia that has always accepted UNHCHR recommendations in order to improve human rights in Cambodia,” it added.
It noted that Mr Hun Sen invited Ms Bachelet to pay a visit to the Kingdom, which she accepted.
During his speech addressing the UNHRC on Thursday, Mr Hun Sen defended Cambodia’s rights records, saying that Cambodia has always respected human rights and promoted fundamental freedoms.
Mr Hun Sen also met with the Cambodian diaspora in Europe.
Mr Hun Sen said he will request Thai and Vietnamese authorities to conduct joint disaster-relief drills along the borders.
He said that the purpose of the drills is to create strong border cooperation to address unexpected incidents and save lives of people affected by natural disasters.
“I want to ask Thai and Vietnamese authorities to host joint drills,” Mr Hun Sen said. “Why am I thinking of this? The main goal is to address disasters along the border.”