Cambodia has reaffirmed that it will host the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in November, said Luy David, Secretary of State of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, stressing that it will be the world’s largest summit post-COVID-19.
“Our plan is still there and we are ready to host the ASEM13 from Nov. 16-17, 2020, in Phnom Penh under the theme: Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”, said Mr Luy.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an intergovernmental process established in 1996 to foster dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe. The group has 53 partners, including 30 European and 21 Asian nations, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat.
The group mainly addresses political, economic, social, cultural, and educational issues of common interest, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership. Cambodia has been a member since the 5th ASEM Summit in Hanoi in October 2004. She joined as the tenth member of ASEAN in 1999.
Mr Luy who handles the preparations of facilities for the coming event, said that the construction is almost complete on the nearly 26,800 square metres site. More than 100 rooms are being equipped with facilities to serve the needs of several hundred delegates.
Since February 2020, Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has couriered 53 letters of invitation signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, many of which have responded that they will attend the summit.
“From Prime Ministers to Vice-Presidents, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat, among others have confirmed that they will join the summit. It will be the world largest summit post-COVID-19,” he said.
More than 20 hotels in Phnom Penh have been booked for the event. The Sub-Committees of the preparation committee for ASEM13 said that they are well prepared, said H.E. David, citing an internal meeting on ASEM preparation last week.
“As far as we are concerned, there is nothing to worry apart from the risk of COVID-19,” he said.
Cambodia has 125 patients of COVID-19, of which 122 have recovered and two remained hospitalised. There has been no report of deaths.
Cambodia’s global messages
Cambodia’s officials said that the summit must be attended in person rather than by video conference due to the size of the delegations. Cambodia foresees that the summit will be held as planned.
“The summit means a lot to Cambodia,” said Mr Luy, who has been engaged in Cambodia’s foreign policy since mid-1990s. “This clearly shows the strong commitment and goodwill of the Royal Government of Cambodia in the sense of integration of the country into regional and international community.”
“We also want to show to the world Cambodia’s role in addressing global issues,” he added.
“Last, but not least, Cambodia is telling the world that she overcame numerous obstacles of the former war-torn nation to now being a country that chairs world class summits. It is a record for Cambodia for receiving the largest delegation ever,” he added. Council of Ministers