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PM Hun Sen: A Year of ASEAN Chairmanship Full of Memories and History for Cambodia

PHNOM PENH: The ASEAN Chair and Prime Minister of Cambodia announced the summit's successful conclusion and many significant accomplishments achieved. Prime Minister Hun Sen officially handed over the ASEAN Chairmanship to the President of the Republic of Indonesia for 2023.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Cambodia's one year as ASEAN's Chair was filled with many memories and has made history for the country. He emphasized that during Cambodia’s one year as ASEAN Chair, there were many challenges, both regional and global, that seriously affected security, the economy, and society. However, he affirmed that ASEAN has satisfactorily coordinated and addressed those challenges.

"I am pleased that the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits have been successfully concluded, and I would like to thank ASEAN Member States and international partners for their full collaboration, support, and consideration, which brought forth many accomplishments to be proud of,” said the Prime Minister.

From 10-13 November 2022, 16 summits were concluded. This was a challenging task, especially at a time when the world is dealing with complex regional and international issues that are changing rapidly. Nevertheless, ASEAN was able to hold thorough and fruitful discussions over the course of these four days, about how to move forward and strengthen the bloc and the value of relations with external partners.

ASEAN also adopted and acknowledged 70 documents and declarations that cover the three pillars of the ASEAN Community, as well as a number of other frameworks on collaboration with dialogue partners.

One highlight of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits was that Ukraine signed on to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) in order to maintain and deepen ties with ASEAN partners. Six other countries, including Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, signed the TAC at the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meetings in August, bringing the membership total now up to 50.

Furthermore, ASEAN issued a Joint Statement on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration in 2002.

Regarding the recovery of the ASEAN Community, the bloc adopted the leadership vision statement "ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together," the ASEAN Leaders' Statement on the 55th Anniversary of ASEAN, and the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN Connectivity Post-2025 Agenda.

In addition, following the Second ASEAN Women's Summit on 12 October 2022, ASEAN adopted the Joint Statement on Building a Sustainable, Environmental, and Resilient Future through Inspiring ASEAN Women Entrepreneurship. At the same time, ASEAN was pleased to hold the 2nd ASEAN Global Dialogue to exchange views on building a sustainable and inclusive ASEAN in the post-Covid-19 era.

Prime Minister Hun Sen emphasized that ASEAN is the main driving force for communication and collaboration with external partners via ASEAN-led mechanisms.

"No matter what the situation, we must maintain ASEAN unity for the maximum benefit of the whole region," he said. "Promoting unity and solidarity will remain our top priority for years to come."

"Regardless of the circumstances, we must maintain ASEAN unity for the benefit of the entire region. Our main objective will continue to be encouraging solidarity and unity," he said.

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