Prime Minister Hun Manet addressed the 78th UN General Assembly. He highlighted several global challenges and reiterated Cambodia’s commitment to a rule-based international order, Cambodia’s independent foreign policy, and its refusal to accept the presence of foreign troops inside the Kingdom’s territory.
Speaking to the assembly in New York City, the US, on September 22 local time, Manet underscored current geopolitical competition and its impacts, such as the escalation of the war in Ukraine and its grave consequences, which reflects a lack of trust, confidence, and adherence to multilateralism among members sates.
“The competition between super and major powers has diverted our available resources – to expand security capabilities despite the widening gap of the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic – to achieve the SDGs 2030 agenda,” he said.
He added that it is now high time to restore strategic security trust among all nations and trust in a rule-of-law based international system in which all states respect international laws and norms, and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.
He believed all countries must join hands to prevent the escalation of the current conflict from widening.
Manet also highlighted the progress made by Cambodian in recent decades, such as its move out of “least developed country”, expected to be confirmed in 2027, annual economic growth of more than 7 per cent before the pandemic and the high voter turnout in the recent election, among other.
Manet briefed the assembled world leaders on the government’s recently adopted Pentagonal Strategy. He said the strategy is in line with UN secretary-general Antonio Gutierrez’s calls for plans to rescue the planet and its people.
Regarding foreign policy, he explained that Cambodia will continue on its path of independence, while maintaining a neutral foreign policy based on the rule of law, equal mutual respect, promoting national interests, strengthening existing friendships, and building amicable ties.
“Cambodia remains resolute against the threat or use of force in international relations, as well as interference in the internal affairs of or oppression of other independent nations. Cambodia will not authorise any foreign military bases on its territory, as is clearly stated in its constitution,” he said.
“Cambodia will not allow any country or nor any group to use its territory against another country, Cambodia will further endeavour to strengthen and expand good cooperation with nations around the world, through bilateral, regional, and international framework, to contribute to global peace, security, stability, sustainable development and prosperity which is shared by all,” he added.
He said Cambodia welcomed any global accelerators on jobs and social protection for just transition, as initiated by Gutierrez. Cambodia supports all relevant initiatives to SGDs and climate change, such as the investment of $500 billion a year between now and 2030 for this cause, and the climate solidarity pact.
The Kingdom has an additional SDG of becoming mine-free by 2025. He called for technical and final support to make this commitment a reality.
“To achieve the SDGs, Cambodia calls on the international community to intensify efforts, strengthen cooperation and rebuild trust and confidence in order to end wars, address the root causes of conflicts and reinvigorate solidarity for SDG achievement,” Manet said.
He stressed that Cambodia will continue to support the increase of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for peace building, and remain a steadfast contributor to the UN’s Peacekeeping Operations (PKO), as part of the Kingdom’s commitment to global peace. To further contribute to this, Cambodia had stood for membership of the organisational committee of the peace building commission for 2025-2026.