The objective of an ASEAN Community by 2015 is less than three years away, and ASEAN must maintain its focus on keeping to the roadmaps, said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the opening of the 20th ASEAN Summit, which also marks the 45th Anniversary of ASEAN.
Pointing to Cambodia’s example, he said Cambodia and ASEAN have benefitted from each other. Although ASEAN has witnessed great progress since the last time Cambodia chaired the organisation in 2002, the group must stay focused on the objective of improving the lives of its peoples.
“After more than four decades of development, ASEAN today has become a closely-integrated political and economic entity, an influential player in Asia and an indispensable strategic partner of major countries and organisations in the world,” said the Prime Minister.
To help keep focus, the Cambodian leader outlined a 7-point Phnom Penh Agenda, which called for:
1. A strengthened mechanism for financial stability, such as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation, and urged for a doubling of the resources of the mechanism from USD 120 billion to USD 240 billion; 2. Timely implementation of the Road Map for ASEAN Community Building; 3. Priority for the ASEAN Economic Community; 4. Promotion of the speedy implementation of the Master Plan for Connectivity; 5. Protection for migrant workers; 6. Urgent priority for the effective functioning of regional disaster management mechanism; 7. Promotion of cooperation in the agriculture sectors to ensure regional food security.
“This is consistent with the selection of our theme “ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny” for ASEAN in 2012, which highlights the joint determination and cooperation of the ASEAN people to work in chorus to build the ASEAN Community as a cohesive family, living in political security, economic and socio-cultural harmony, and is rules-based, peaceful and economically strong,” said the Prime Minister.