Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the opening ceremony of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Summit held at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on Tuesday morning.
The second edition of the intercontinental summit was attended by over 860 delegates from 40 countries, and was held under the theme Addressing the Critical Challenges: Peace, Reconciliation, Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Value.
The royal government spokesperson unit deputy director and the 2nd Asia-Pacific Summit spokesman Ek Tha told The Post on Monday that the Cambodian government had invited more than 200 national guests to attend the meeting.
He said the historic meeting was about the positive impact of cooperation between the government and civil society for peace-building, national reconciliation, sustainable development, co-prosperity, and workable solutions to solve critical issues.
Cambodia, he said, would not be able to host the 2nd Asia-Pacific summit if it still experienced war. He said that with absolute peace and political stability, Cambodia’s friendly foreign policy has captured the hearts of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the Pacific region countries.
“Cambodia learned from a turbulent 40 years of war, divisions, and destructions, especially the Khmer Rouge genocide from April 1975 to January 1979, which resulted in the death of millions of people.
“Cambodia will never repeat the bad past experiences as we have obtained full peace and sustainable development,” said Tha.
Apart from government leaders and parliamentarians, the foreign delegates included representatives of women’s groups, youth and religious associations, media, universities, civil society and business organisations.
After Hun Sen’s opening remarks at the Asia-Pacific Summit, there was a series of speeches from the International Conference of Asian Political Parties co-chairman Jose de Venecia Jr and the Universal Peace Federation’s leader Hak Ja Han.
Myanmar Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, Palau Vice-President Raynold Oilouch, Bangladeshi parliamentarian Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Pakistan National Assembly Vice-President Qasim Khan Suri, former Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, and former President of East Timor Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao also delivered speeches on Monday morning.
Entering November 20, programmes by youth and religious representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, and Islam will represent nationalism and peace-building efforts.
Asian cultural arts performances for peace and development in the afternoon will be held at the Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre before the dinner party in front of Sokha Hotel to announce the ceremony’s closure.
The first Asia-Pacific summit took place last year in Nepal.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday announced that in 2020, Cambodia would host the Asia-Europe meeting, in which leaders from 52 countries would come to Cambodia to attend.