November 11, 2022
PHNOM PENH – As the ASEAN Summit and related meetings kicked off in Phnom Penh on November 10, a spokesman said the bloc envisioned several challenges that may arise, but was confident that the ASEAN delegations, and their partners, would work together to facilitate progress and ensure the meetings are productive.
Kung Phoak, secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, serving as ASEAN Summit spokesman, said in a morning press briefing that when Cambodia assumed the chairmanship of ASEAN, there were already several challenges facing the region, and the world. These included the Myanmar issue and the Covid-19 pandemic, compounded by the Russia-Ukraine conflict which has caused further uncertainty.
“Fortunately, ASEAN has a long-sighted vision and is prepared to respond to these challenges. What is most important is that we cooperate to push our collective agenda and ensure that we move forward in areas we have identified as priorities,” he said, adding that the current crises are in addition to more longstanding issues, including climate change, the nuclear threats on the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea dispute.
“In short, Cambodia, as chair of ASEAN, has worked closely with each of the bloc’s member nations to respond to these concerns,” he added, noting that ASEAN had issued a number of statements calling for an end to the conflict in Ukraine.