Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UK’s Asia minister talks ASEAN relations, duties

UK’s Asia minister talks ASEAN relations, duties

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister Amanda Milling (left) meets with Environment Minister Say Sam Al on January 11. ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY

UK’s Asia minister talks ASEAN relations, duties

British Minister of State for Asia Amanda Milling said she is committed to working closely with Cambodia to address the region’s biggest challenges, while also discussing human rights and meeting with former opposition leader Kem Sokha on her two-day visit.

Milling arrived in Phnom Penh on January 9 in her first visit since the UK became an official dialogue partner of ASEAN, which is currently chaired by Cambodia.

“As a new dialogue partner, we’ve committed to working closely with Cambodia as the 2022 chair of ASEAN to address the region’s biggest challenges, boost trade and offer UK expertise in building back better,” she tweeted on January 11 following a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn.

The British embassy in Phnom Penh said on January 11 that Milling and Sokhonn discussed the UK’s role as a dialogue partner, issues related to human rights, climate change, trade and closer​​​cooperation on shared challenges while Cambodia chairs ASEAN.

Sokhonn said Cambodia and the UK shared many interests and similar visions for development. The two sides touched on the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and embracing opportunities to build back better, the Myanmar crisis and human rights protection.

“I took this opportunity to thank the government and people of the UK for their generosity extended to Cambodia through various kinds of support, particularly as evideniced by [Covid-19] vaccine donations.

“ASEAN is eager to work even more closely with the UK, which became ASEAN’s 11th dialogue partner last year,” Sokhonn said in a Facebook after the meeting.

Milling said she had the pleasure of meeting with Sokha, former leader of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), to talk about the current political situation.

“We both want to see a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Cambodia. We discussed the need for human rights to be respected and how the next generation of Cambodians can make an impact,” she tweeted.

Minister of Environment Say Sam Al and Milling also met on January 11 to discuss climate change challenges and the launch of the UK Biodiversity Landscape Fund in order to keep building on the progress made at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

“The UK is a world leader in climate finance and we spoke about opportunities for collaboration on clean, honest and reliable infrastructure,” she tweeted.

The British embassy said the UK supports Cambodia’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and is committed to working closely together on prioritising green development for Cambodia and ASEAN.

Milling also spoke to some of Cambodia’s human rights organisations on January 10. She said the UK puts human rights at the heart of everything it does, reiterating the importance of protecting human rights and her government’s support of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Cambodia and Southeast Asia.

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Asian Vision Institute’s Mekong Centre for Strategic Studies, told The Post on January 11 that while Cambodia chairs ASEAN, the UK is looking for an opportunity to discuss a number of issues, including development and boosting business cooperation as well as promoting women’s roles and developing human resources.

He said the two countries have good business and political relations. Milling’s visit comes at a time when Cambodia is preparing for its commune elections, something that probably inspired her meetings with a number of civil society partners to discuss ways to promote sustainable socio-economic and human development in Cambodia and especially respect for human rights.

“Cambodia is the chair of ASEAN and will serve as a bridge between the bloc and the UK on many more topics related to climate change, investment and business and the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Struggling Battambang artist dreams of staging full-scale gallery exhibition

    Leav Kimchhoth, a 55-year-old artist from Battambang province, is a familiar face to locals and tourists alike on the streets of the riverside in Phnom Penh. The one-armed painter and illustrator often hawks his work near the night market on weekends and public holidays. He

  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • New Law on Taxation comes into effect

    Cambodia has enacted the eagerly-awaited new Law on Taxation, which aims to improve the national tax regime’s compliance with present and future international standards and economic conditions; encourage accountability, effectiveness and transparency in the collection process; and promote investment in the Kingdom. King Norodom

  • PM warns of int’l election interference

    With the national election scheduled to take place in less than two months, Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned foreign nations and their diplomats not to interfere into Cambodia’s domestic affairs. He also hinted that their statements on court verdicts handed down to any