ADDRESS OF HIS EXCELLENCY
SAMDECH HUN SEN
OF THE ROYAL GOVEWN-MENT OF CAMBODIA
TO THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Madame and Mr. Co-Presidents
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have prepared a long speech for this summit with the intention to apprise this distinguished forum of our aspirations,
needs and concerns with regard to the challenges to the development of the humanity and the creation of a new world
order in the age of globalization. I have asked for the distribution of the whole text for your information.
Overall, there is a common view that humanity has witnessed unimaginable, enormous and immeasurable changes and progress
in the last one thousand years, in particular during the last century. Yet, our achievements also mask many continuing
failings and seem to expose more future dangers. Many leaders used to highlight these issues at important international
fora. May I pick up for comments just a number of main concepts, which I think could make a contribution to the
discussions at this august Millennium Summit.
First, our biggest concerns at this time are to rapidly reduce poverty and the gaps between the rich and poor, and-the
huge economic divide resulted from the negative impacts of globalization, which is underway and continue to spread in
the regions and the world. The most important challenge is to provide opportunity and create conditions for poor
countries to benefit appropriately from globalization. This requires more transfer of financial, technical and
technological resources, provide opportunity to developing countries to participate fully and equally in free trade by
providing them with favorable access to developed markets without hidden conditionalities and domestic subsidies. We
must consider a new partnership between developed and developing countries to put forth measures allowing the latter to
meet effectively the challenges of globalization. At the same time, special care should be taken to design policies and
establish favorable environment to promote increased flows of investment, technology and new knowledge to developing
countries in particular the LDCs.
Second, as one of the poorest countries in the world we are concerned about the overall decreasing trends of Official
Development Assistance (ODA). We think that in providing financing facilities, more grant funds should be provided to
poor countries to boost the development till they reach a minimum threshold . In this sense, we fully support the
strides to fulfill the yet to be attained internationally agreed upon target of 0.7% of GNP of developed countries for
overall ODA as soon as possible.
Third, excessive external debt is a heavy burden for poor countries and constitutes - a major Impediment to economic
growth and investment in human resource development of these countries. The G8 countries have agreed to write-off the
heavy burden of outstanding debts of the poorest countries. This initiative has been warmly welcomed by the people of
all walks of life and should be further developed by providing extra funds to help the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
(HIPQ and expanding its coverage to many other poor countries. In this regard, a number of countries, including
Cambodia, have made utmost efforts to reschedule old debts, especially those contracted in the 1970s. It is however
regrettable that these debts were contracted during the cold war to finance the hot wars in the country and the region.
Under those circumstances, most of the loans were not utilized for development. Therefore, there should be political
will to write-off these debts. Some countries appear to have shared this vision and adopted this approach by not
requiring the payback. At the same time, we highly appreciate the generosity of donor countries and international
financial institutions in granting new concessional loans to poor countries, such as Cambodia, to promote development
and the reduce poverty.
Fourth, human resource development is the most important and decisive factor for development and social progress. Thus,
priority should be given to the enhancement of the capacities of LDCs, such as Cambodia, for them to achieve the
ultimate goals of social and economic development and participate effectively and equally in regional and world affairs.
Fifth, Cambodia agrees with the initiative to push for the creation of a new world order by establishing a new
institution and putting forward a new agenda or by improving and redirecting the existing one in order to ensure that
all developing countries can benefit fairly and equitably from globalization. This also includes the necessity to reform
the United Nations. The reform of the Security Council should be conducted within the spirit which allows the UN to
discharge its responsibilities in determining the destiny of the world with more efficiency and full legitimacy in the
eyes of nations and people in all regions and of all levels of development. In this sense, Cambodia welcomes the
initiative of expanding the membership of the UN Security Council and expresses a full support for Japan and India as
candidates to occupy the permanent seats at the Security Council.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am confident that this Millennium Summit will reaffirm the commitments of all United Nations member states in respect
of the common visions for the world in the new millennium. We all will show our strong determination about this
commitment through follow-up actions to be taken after this summit.
I thank you all for your kind attention.