Boosting two continents: PM says Asia and Europe must strengthen ties in post-C-19 recovery

Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday that Asia and Europe should further strengthen their partnership through ASEM to fight for socio-economic recovery from the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

In his keynote address to the 13th ASEM Summit, which was held virtually, Hun Sen said the theme of this year’s meeting “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth” was even more valid and relevant than ever in the context of this shared vision of recovery. .

“In fact, in the post-COVID-19 global crisis, we need to further strengthen our Asia-Europe partnership to maintain strong multilateralism that will bring not only ‘sustainable’ but also ‘shared’ global growth. said Mr. Hun Sen, chairman of the summit hosted by Cambodia.

He said that since its inception in 1996, ASEM has proven to be an essential platform for connecting and promoting partnership between Asia and Europe. Its strength lies in its fundamental principles of informality, flexibility and mutual respect in a spirit of consensus and equal partnership.

“I believe that in the current situation, we need these principles more than ever, as we face a myriad of challenges that require our joint efforts and responses,” he told leaders at the summit. .

“ASEM-13 has set its goals based on the principles of shared growth, sustainable development and rules-based multilateralism. As an important multilateral platform connecting Asia and Europe, ASEM is an essential and strong global force.

“In this spirit, ASEM cooperation and partnership for a strong and effective multilateralism and a rules-based international order should act as its guiding spirit,” he added.

Mr. Hun Sen said that as ASEM heads into the next decade of its existence, all members have a shared responsibility to ensure that the grouping continues to be an essential and robust cross-regional platform that can bring great benefits to its people and can make an even greater contribution to world peace, stability, prosperity and development.

He shared six main objectives of the two-day summit, including deepening cross-regional connectivity for sustainable and inclusive development and shared growth; promote interregional partnership for global governance; enhancing the effectiveness of a rules-based multilateral system; Harnessing innovation, digital connectivity and Industrial Revolution 4.0 and solving cross-cutting issues such as climate change, poverty, women’s empowerment, as well as other transnational challenges.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, said that three years ago all met in Brussels and that summit was postponed twice and finally took place yesterday.

He said that although it was held via virtual videoconference, it is an important meeting and a great opportunity to talk about what has been achieved and to set goals for the future.

Prime Minister Hun Sen (top left) opens the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM-13) under the theme “Strengthening Multilateralism for Joint Growth”. Provided

“ASEM is a platform and a gateway to a multilateral perspective. At the summit, we can work together, discuss how to broaden and strengthen EU-Asia relations to protect the environment and nature and restore social and economic activity,” he said.

Europe believes in multilateralism and an open and rules-based international order, saying European countries are ready to deepen cooperation with their Asian counterparts for mutual benefit, he added.

“Multilateral cooperation and a very strong Europe-Asia relationship in particular are crucial for our global recovery,” he said.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin expressed his hope that the summit will bring more results for the integration of Asia and Europe.

“Even though the summit has been postponed twice, we can now work remotely thanks to Cambodia’s efforts. I am confident that the summit will advance the continent’s integration processes and help strengthen practical cooperation,” he added.

The Russian Prime Minister suggested that all use the potential of ASEM to develop areas of connectivity such as transport, construction, modernization of remote areas, digitalization, education and tourism.

Regarding the summit, National Assembly Speaker Heng Samrin yesterday expressed his hope that it will be held successfully for the mutual benefit of Asia and Europe.

“I wish ASEM13 concludes with great success,” he said in his statement during the session with ASEM13 stakeholders via video conference.

The Parliament of Cambodia had the privilege of hosting the 11th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP11) on November 16, he said, adding that it concluded with great success.

Regarding Cambodia’s role as ASEM 13 Chair, Kin Phea, Director General of the Institute of International Relations, Royal Academy of Cambodia, said Khmer time yesterday that it is a great mechanism that the heads of government of the 51 Asian and European countries participated in this meeting since almost half of the world attended and it is the largest meeting after the United Nations .

He said it showed Cambodia’s importance and role in international affairs, especially when the country previously suffered from political and diplomatic embargoes.

“We have now opened our space to all countries and our role is even more important, which is a source of pride,” said Phea.