SIEM REAP: Over 100 foreign delegates gathered in Siem Reap to support girl scouts in the region at the 7th Friends of Asia Pacific WAGGGS (FAPW) General Assembly on November 5. Guests at the assembly had a chance to experience what Cambodia has to offer, while convening on a cause close to their hearts.
For some this was their first visit to Cambodia, like Australian scout leader Ms. Sigrid, who was impressed with the assembly and Cambodia's beauty.
"It's a beautiful country and I think I would love it and I will come back one day," she said. "It's good and the assembly is so well organized and everybody is very friendly and really welcomed us."
Sui Lan, a Girl Guide representative from Hong Kong, said the Girl Guides Association of Cambodia (GGAC) had organized the conference well, especially in terms of hospitality. "We can see that they made a lot of effort to make this event very successful," she said.
She hopes that the conference will create many good memories of Cambodia.
Ms. Sun-Kyo Jung, a Girl Guide from South Korea, thanked the host country and the GGAC for such a warm welcome.
"Fifty-five countries are participating here and including me as an older member joining here," she said. "Thank you so much for your hospitality for our members. The Girl Guide Association of Cambodia worked very hard preparing for the General Assembly, thank you so much."
GGAC Commissioner, First Lady Pich Chanmony, led the assembly under the theme “Imagine Possibilities." She noted the importance of the event as preparation for the upcoming 39th WAGGGS World Conference, which Cambodia will host in 2026.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the First Lady said that the assembly was meant to review progress and recognize past achievements for the region in helping young women and girls around the world gain access to knowledge and experience, so that they can build a better future.
Prime Minister Hun Manet, also presided over the opening ceremony, delivering a message of support for the activities of WAGGGS, especially in Cambodia. He said that the organization enhances the participation of young women and children in society and gives them the opportunity to develop themselves, which ultimately helps society as a whole.
He also noted that women and girls are oppressed in other countries, which results in a loss of strong resources for their societies.
"With the suppression in various areas such as society, tradition, economy, and lack of education, millions of women around the world are denied access to self-development and social participation," he said. "For me, this is a loss of strong, sustainable human resources for society if they miss these opportunities."
He said that the Royal Government of Cambodia has set gender equality and empowerment of women and girls as a priority in its policy agenda. He said that the first phase of the government's Pentagon Strategy will strengthen citizenship with morality, equity and an environment in which women are the core.
"The world will be safer, more beautiful, and warmer if more women become leaders," he said.