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August 2022
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Speeches

I. Phavi: Address to World Summit 2022, Session VII

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022

 

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I am honored to be here today and deliver remarks on behalf of Samdech Kittiprittpandit Bun Rany Hun Sen, first lady of the Kingdom of Cambodia. On behalf of the first lady, please allow me to express my deep appreciation to the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) for the invitation to the World Summit 2022 and my heartfelt congratulations to the Organizing Committee for their excellent organization of it. I would like to acknowledge the impressive work of UPF, such as its ongoing contributions to the promotion of global peace, including that on the Korean Peninsula.

On a special note, I would like to extend my especial thanks to Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, for co-hosting this important Summit, titled, “Toward Peace on the Korean Peninsula,” a monumental effort that aims to galvanize synergy toward peace, security and prosperity for humanity.

It is a privilege to deliver this speech on the Korean Peninsula, with which Cambodia has a special relationship, with both the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK). Both countries have been close friends of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia and have helped our country throughout its many stages of development. It is also a great pleasure to share with you my thoughts on the theme, “Women Leaders, First Ladies and Korean Reunification,” at this important peace summit, attended by leaders and distinguished guests physically and virtually from all over the world.

We live in a time of heightened tensions within and among countries in the Asia Pacific region, which puts many civilians in a state of agitation and angst. This means that opening the doors for dialogues is more important than ever and this Summit for Peace on the Korean Peninsula could not have been more timely. The combined effects of heavy economic sanctions and pandemic-related travel restrictions have put the DPRK in extreme isolation. Because of that, it is about identifying suitable incentives for the DPRK to denuclearize. Although President Moon Jae-in has been calling for the resumption of diplomatic talks with Pyongyang and an end-of-war declaration, the pursuit for a lasting peace requires the determination, concerted efforts and bold leadership of various countries.

Cambodia lived through decades of aerial bombardment and civil war until 1998, whenthe Win-Win Policy was introduced by Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation. Therefore, as a post-conflict society, we Cambodians know the precious value of peace and national unity more than anyone else. In fact, dialogue and mutual understanding are what led us to the achievement of lasting peace and political stability, which have allowed us to focus all of our efforts and resources on poverty reduction, socio-economic development and our people's well-being.

Thanks to the wise leadership of Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen and his effective Win-Win Policy, total peace has been achieved and maintained in the entire Kingdom since then, ushering in transformative growth and social progress. One needs to acknowledge that Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen has also brought about peace, unity and stability to the Mekong region and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Community. He has also contributed to peace in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. For these reasons, he deserves justice and recognition for his achievements and relentless dedication. In this respect, I would like to thank the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation and the UPF global family for awarding Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize. On this occasion, I wholeheartedly congratulate Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen on receiving this prestigious award, the pride for humanity.

The lessons from wars and conflicts have equipped us with resiliency and also motivated us to take leadership in maintaining regional peace and security. Since 2006, Cambodia has deployed 7,826 peacekeepers, 494 of them women, to join UN peacekeeping operations in war-torn countries. We are proud to be ranked 13th among 122 nations, in terms of contribution of women peacekeepers, and among ASEAN countries, we are second only to Indonesia.

In 2022, Cambodia, under the leadership of Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen, is the chair of ASEAN. This has enabled us to take a strong and active role in supporting the process of finding peaceful solutions in the region, for example, to the Myanmar crisis. In short, I truly believe that peace and stability can be achieved through mutual respect, mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual interest with mutual commitment to reconciliation and inclusive participation in dialogue.

In this context, it is of crucial importance to stress that reconciliation as well as lasting peace and stability, along with truly sustainable development, cannot be realized without women’s meaningful participation and without women having a seat at decision-making tables. The Mother of Peace, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of UPF, is the testimony of the vital role of women in peacebuilding and peacekeeping. Speaking from my own experience and that of many women peace leaders in Cambodia, I would like to highlight the important role of women in the peaceful prevention and resolution of conflicts, and make the case that gender equality and women’s empowerment are key to achieving long lasting peace and a sustainable and prosperous future for all.

It is not without pride that I can say that the Royal Government of Cambodia has acknowledged the essence of the UNSCR (UN Security Council Resolution) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Moreover, its implementation is reflected in many parts of the government structure in four main areas, namely the four pillars: (1) women’s participation at all levels of decision-making in the peace and security sphere, (2) protection of the rights of women and girls, (3) incorporation of a gender perspective into conflict prevention initiatives, and (4) ensuring that gender considerations are integrated into relief and recovery efforts.

Remarkable results were achieved in women’s participation in decision-making in the last two decades, thanks to high-level political commitment and relevant affirmative policies. Also, the number of women in leadership positions has increased in the legislative and executive branches with a female vice president of the National Assembly and a female deputy prime minister. However, let me share with you that Cambodian women experienced and experience violence and hardship not only differently, but also disproportionately from men during and since the civil war, and so do women on the Korean Peninsula. Women’s active and meaningful participation in decision-making and public policy-making not only ensures that women’s voices are included and their concerns are valued, but in effect, it does contribute to a more secure, inclusive and harmonious environment in post-war societies. In fact, this should be promoted in any society.

Cambodia is highly committed to advocating women’s participation in peace and reconciliation processes whenever opportunities arise. We endeavor to increase the number of women in both peacekeeping missions and security services. And I believe that our contributions to global peace missions would be greatly undermined without the brave participation of Cambodian women in humanitarian, de-mining and peacekeeping operations in many conflict hotspots of the world.

Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,

As we slowly pace towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we now find ourselves standing at a critical juncture. The pandemic has offered us a unique opportunity to reflect on our day-to-day relationships with each other, and a portal to envision a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable society. The World Summit 2022 provides an excellent platform for us, women leaders, to not only connect and strengthen collaboration and resiliency, but also to support dialogues for reconciliation and peace towards a sustainable and shared prosperous future for all. We all play a critical role in this!

Cambodia is ready!

Thank you!

 

 


To go to the World Summit 2022 Schedule page, click here.