Phnom Penh (FN), Aug. 3 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, in his capacity as the rotating chair of ASEAN in 2022 shared two initiatives to the ASEAN foreign ministers to give a thought and support.

The premier spoke in the opening ceremony of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings, held on Wednesday (Aug 3) at Sokha Hotel Phnom Penh.

The two initiatives are as follow:

“The first one is an attempt to tackle the existential threat that climate change and environmental degradation can pose to the region and the world.

ASEAN has been putting out so far various policy solutions, but our responses remain sector specific and uncoordinated. ASEAN needs to go further by leveraging different national conditions to provide a platform for cooperation among member states as well as with our external partners. It would be good if ASEAN can consider establishing an overarching framework, an initiative that I would label an ASEAN Green Deal, that enables our region to make a gradual transition toward a green future that is sustainable, resource-efficient, resilient and competitive economy. It would cover a wide range of areas such as infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, consumption, agriculture, transport, environment, and finance, with technology, innovation and circularity being the enabling factors. I would welcome opinions from any ASEAN Member State on how we could make this a reality,” the premier underlined.

Samdech continued, “The second suggestion relates to measures to effectively recover from the impacts of COVID19. ASEAN has agreed to implement various initiatives and programs under the 4 Broad Strategies of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. In line with the Broad Strategy 3 that is to maximize the potential of Intra-ASEAN Market and Broader Economic Integration, I believe we do need to have a standalone Secretariat as soon as possible, to coordinate effective implementation of the RCEP that came into force last January. Cambodia is ready to host this RCEP Secretariat.

We have even thought of where in Phnom Penh, the Secretariat should be located, while we are working to formulate our detailed proposal. I hope Cambodia can win the support of fellow ASEAN Member States, as well as all RCEP participating countries when we submit our proposal officially.”