Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday called on authorities to address all concerns raised by the the public in line with the Kingdom’s efforts to implement sustainable development goals.
In a message to mark today’s celebration of the 30th World Population Day under the theme, “25 years of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD),” Mr Hun Sen highlighted the Kingdom’s achievements in putting an end to decades of war and promoting inclusive policies.
He said that the Kingdom still faces major challenges such as the quality of public services, noting that government officials should ensure that all Cambodians benefit from the country’s development.
“Although the government has made a lot of enormous achievements, we have yet to meet our demands and targets because a lot of problems come along the way,” he said. “I would like to call on relevant authorities at all levels and in all sectors to keep tackling issues which affect the people.”
“We must commit to our development goals and leave no one behind,” Mr Hun Sen added.
He noted that the Kingdom has experienced 7.7 percent economic growth every year over the last two decades after the government adopted the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994.
Mr Hun Sen said Cambodia’s population jumped from 11 million in 1998 to nearly 16 million in 2017 and currently has a 99.3 percent employment rate with a 10 million-strong labour force.
He noted that the poverty rate had decreased from 47 percent in 2007 to 13.5 percent in 2017.
Mr Hun Sen also said that Phnom Penh’s population is expected to grow to around 2 million people by 2030, from its 1.4 million people now.
“The dramatic increase of population in the capital requires clear strategy plans in order to prevent the problem of urbanization growth,” he said.
He also noted the adult literacy rate reached 82.5 percent in 2018, meaning that more people, especially women, were able to obtain a proper education at all levels.
Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, yesterday said the government has been addressing some of the country’s major issues, but problems at local levels still needed improving to ensure that no one is left behind.
“I think officials at the national level are aware of the premier’s message, but some at the sub-national level remain offhand about the issue,” he said. “Local authorities are reportedly careless when dealing with problems for people because they overlook the issues.”
Mr Kim Eng urged the authorities to pay close attention to people’s concerns, noting that the country’s implementation of sustainable development goals requires participation from all stakeholders, including people.