UC and the Embassy of Singapore in Phnom Penh Successfully Hosted ASEAN Roundtable

6 October 2011 (Phnom Penh) – The University of Cambodia (UC) and the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Phnom Penh hosted the "Closed-Door Roundtable on ASEAN in 2012: Progress and Priorities," on 5 October 2011, from 12 to 2:30 PM.

The Guest of Honor for this event was H.E. Mr. K Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Republic of Singapore. H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, UC President and Personal Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, served as Chair of this high-level discussion.

The Roundtable was a Track 1.5 discussion, involving both government and non-government officials in academia and civil society.

After a private lunch with H.E. Minister Shanmugam, invited guests proceeded to the informal Roundtable discussion. H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn opened the Roundtable discussion by delivering his Welcoming Remarks to welcome H.E. K. Shanmugam and all participants. H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn then invited H.E. K. Shanmugam to make his Opening Remarks.  Once the Opening Remarks had been delivered, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn opened the floor to an exchange of views on ASEAN in 2012: Progress and Priorities. All participants were invited to speak and raise issues that they may have had.

Some of the major issues raised include the following items:

·        Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2012 carries great weight, and Cambodia will focus on building an ASEAN Community by 2015, while continuing the hard work of its predecessors and especially Indonesia, the current Chair of ASEAN.

·        Cambodia will also focus on the ASEAN Integration, full visa privileges among all 10 member-states, and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

·        ASEAN is at the center of economic, socio-cultural, and political-security development.

·        ASEAN has made tremendous progress over the past two decades, and can no longer afford to pay lip-service. It must continue focusing on key deliverables.

·        ASEAN, as a whole, must achieve and reaffirm its commitment to building the ASEAN Community by 2015.

·        Cambodia is a significant agricultural producer, and should focus on food and water production projects with the goal of exporting agricultural goods and products, while in-sourcing jobs and opportunities for locals.

·        ASEAN and Cambodia should focus on what is practical, not necessarily idealistic, and let things cook slowly, especially in terms of the ASEAN Charter and consensus-building around all ten member-states of ASEAN.

H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn invited H.E. K. Shanmugam to respond to each question or provide comments where the Minister had comments to make.

Once the discussion had ended, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn invited H.E. K. Shanmugam to deliver his Closing Remarks. At the end of the Roundtable, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn closed the meeting by summing up key discussion points raised during the meeting, and thanked the Minister and all participants for their invaluable contributions to the Roundtable. 

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