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Cambodia Concludes Red Cross Leaders Meeting with ASEAN Support

PHNOM PENH: The Cambodian Red Cross, led by its Honorary President, Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, successfully concluded the 2023 Southeast Asia Red Cross Red Crescent Leaders Meeting on Friday, September 22, and passed the baton to Indonesia, who will be hosting next year’s meeting.

President of the Cambodian Red Cross, former First Lady Bun Rany, handed the transfer letter to Secretary-General of the Indonesian Red Cross, Abdurahman Mohammad, who thanked her and affirmed that his country was ready to chair the meeting next year.

Bun Rany said that the two-day meeting highlighted the importance of focusing on climate change and carbon neutrality through the Green Development Plan and regional solidarity. She congratulated the Indonesian Red Crescent on the opportunity to chair next year’s meeting.

The South-East Asia Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) Leaders Meeting is an annual meeting that brings together RCRC leaders from the region to discuss and decide on issues of interest to the program’s humanitarian goals.

 The meeting ended on September 22 with the issuance of the Phnom Penh Declaration, signed by all members.

“The statement we just signed is a testament to the acceptance of our concerted efforts to devise new solutions to meet challenges, achieve bigger positive results, be ready to respond to disasters – which are now more frequent and serious than ever – and to work together to build resilient and inclusive communities,” said Bun Rany.

This is the third time that Cambodia has chaired this large charity meeting after 2007 and 2015. This year’s meeting saw historical success in establishing a relationship between the Southeast Asia RCRC and ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn, with the goal of cooperating on shared goals.

Deputy Secretary-General of the Cambodian Red Cross, Men Neary Sopheak, held a press conference on September 22, where she lauded Cambodia’s initiative in inviting the ASEAN leader to this year’s meeting. "The presence of the Secretary-General of ASEAN this year is a success following our invitation. Even though he is busy, he was able to sit down and talk with the National Association," she said. "It means that between the Red Cross Red Crescent [and ASEAN] there is mutual understanding and appreciation for the importance of working together."

Representatives and youth members from eleven countries convened in Phnom Penh from September 21-22. President Bun Rany thanked all the attendees and the ASEAN Secretary-General and his colleagues for enriching the event and highlighting humanitarian efforts in Southeast Asia.

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