According to a media release issued on December 15, 2022, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen told leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) that the two blocs would work together to ensure a rules-based international order for mutual benefit.
Mr. Hun Sen, who is the chair of ASEAN for 2022, made the remarks at the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit in Brussels that happened recently (December 14, 2022). He said that the summit was held at a time when multilateralism was under severe pressure. Further, Mr. Hun Sen expressed being worried about global peace, which has been threatened by the actions of the states that are openly violating internationally recognized norms, laws, and principles.
For the way forward, he believes that the ASEAN and the EU shall work closely to corroborate an international order based on the rule of law, transparency, openness, and mutual benefit. Mr. Hun Sen said the EU and ASEAN shall do their utmost to protect and promote the United Nations Charter and its laws, principles, and norms, which are recognized worldwide as the foundation for building peace and stability and improving people’s quality of life and livelihoods in the region and the world.
Based on his personal experiences and perspectives from the long and tragic conflicts in Cambodia, he expressed his firm belief that war or the threat of war cannot achieve peace.In this regard, Mr. Hun Sen sincerely hopes to resolve conflicts peacefully through consultations and dialogues as a common approach. He is confident about the 14th of December talk, which will allow them to transform their common spirit into a pragmatic vision that will help benefit their region and the world for decades to come.
Mr. Hun Sen also stated that good progress is being made in carrying out the 2018-2022 action plan, and that the new 2023-2027 action plan, which is clear and comprehensive, has been welcomed. It covers many parts of the cooperation under the pillars of ASEAN. The Commemorative Summit gives both ASEAN and the EU opportunities to conduct an in-depth review of past cooperation and chart the course for the future direction of the EU-ASEAN relationship. The rapid development of regional and global architecture and various other traditional and non-traditional challenges become key topics on the summit’s agenda.