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Asean-UN join forces against COVID-19, landmines

Ry Sochan / Khmer Times Share:
Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn addresses the ASEAN-United Nations Ministerial Meeting held via video conference. KT/Khem Sovannara

Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn has reiterated Cambodia’s support for the crucial roles the United Nations is playing in steering global efforts to combat COVID-19.

He was speaking via video conference at the Asean-United Nations Ministerial Meeting (AUMM) held in Hanoi on Wednesday on efforts to boost international cooperation against the pandemic, socio-economic recovery, and landmine removal.

Sokhonn said Cambodia shows full support for the crucial role of the UN in steering collective efforts to uphold multilateralism as a pillar for peace, security and prosperity.

“Facing the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting recognised Asean-UN collective efforts and strong commitment to upholding multilateralism and regionalism, and underscored the importance of enhanced international cooperation in addressing the far-reaching impact of this new disease and in bringing about post-pandemic socio-economic recovery,”  the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday.

“[Sokhonn] encouraged the UN to consider providing support to the Asean Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) to address humanitarian aspects of landmines and other explosive remnants of war in the region and in the world at large,” it  said.

Sokhonn said Cambodia has contributed to demining through increased participation of Cambodian women in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in various parts of the world despite the threats posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

UNGA president Volkan Bozkir said for many people the pandemic has been devastating. Economies have crashed. Healthcare systems have been squeezed.  Education has been halted.

“During my presidency, I look forward to working together to support the comprehensive partnership between Asean and the United Nations, and I will work to ensure no one is left behind, especially the most vulnerable,” he said.

Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute director Kin Phea said: “Cambodia’s participation is a strong support in the process of multilateralism. Our voice and role have appeared in the framework of these multilateralism mechanisms.”

The meeting reaffirmed the joint endeavour of Asean and the UN to align the realisation of the Asean Community Vision 2025 and 2030 agenda for sustainable development and adopted a new Plan of Action for 2021-2025, the statement said.

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