Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreign ministry set for March annual conference

Foreign ministry set for March annual conference

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY

Foreign ministry set for March annual conference

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is set to hold its annual conference in early March to evaluate its achievements and develop an action plan for the coming year.

The ministry will evaluate its diplomatic accomplishments at the global and regional level, and outline its response to the global economic downturn and international geopolitical crises.

The conference will be held from March 1-3, with the first two days chaired by foreign minister Prak Sokhonn and the closing ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“[We] will discuss global geopolitical changes, developments in regional issues and mechanisms to track Cambodia’s interests and concerns. We will also examine economic diplomacy strategies in the context of the current global economic crisis and discuss institutional reform,” it said in a press release.

Prime Minister Hun Sen will provide guidelines and policy direction for Cambodian diplomats, so they will maintain the country’s core interests, ensure its sovereignty and peace, and promote economic ties.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relation Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the conference is important as it allows the government to survey its work results and lay out its future foreign policy.

“Cambodia has achieved many diplomatic successes in recent years, especially during its chairmanship of ASEAN in 2022,” he said, suggesting that the government continue to focus on ASEAN centrality, as the regional intergovernmental organisation benefits the nation both economically and diplomatically.

“[But] the government, which has been criticised by some western powers for its purportedly close ties with China, especially regarding debt and the Ream Naval Base, does need to address some challenges ahead.

“The Kingdom needs to continue to diversify its diplomacy, open its diplomatic doors and strengthen its comprehensive partnerships with more countries – in addition to its existing relations with China and Japan,” he said.

Vann Bunna, a researcher at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, hoped the conference is expected to include input to improve Cambodia’s foreign policy in the context of geopolitical competition, particularly regarding the significant changes that the world has undergone as a result of the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict.

He believed Cambodia should focus on economic diplomacy that binds friends through mutual economic benefits.

“Cambodia has capable officials who are able to implement foreign policy successfully, which is a good thing. The Kingdom has gained many allies in recent years,” he said.

“There are some negative aspects. The fact that Cambodia is a small developing nation is a barrier in some ways, and the perceived decline of democracy is an obstacle to relations with the west,” he added.

Seng Vanly, a lecturer in international relations, said the assembly is more important than ever due to a two-year disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis. The heating up of Asia-Pacific geopolitics also means the meeting is timely.

“The assembly presents an opportunity for the ministry to hear recommendations from experts in the field of diplomacy. This will allow it to better prepare to participate in regional and international organisations,” he added.

“The assembly may discuss Cambodia’s vision to strengthen diplomacy with existing traditional friends and expand its influence with new friends, such as countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and Latin America. To certain extent, doing so will allow the Kingdom to avoid problems caused by the tense geographical competition of the great powers,” he said.


  • 12th Cambodia int’l film festival to see return of Hollywood star

    Phnom Penh is set to come alive with the magic of cinema as the highly anticipated 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) takes centre stage. Boasting an impressive line-up of 188 films from 23 countries, including captivating shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation, the festival promises an

  • Brawl marrs football final as Indonesian take gold in seven goal thriller

    The Indonesian men's U22 men national football team were crowned champions of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, defeating Thailand 5-2 in extra time on May 16 at Olympic National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The match was marred by an ugly incident that occured in the 91

  • 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

  • Candlelight Party disqualified from July general election

    The National Election Committee (NEC) has disqualified the Candlelight Party (CP) from contesting the upcoming general election, citing a lack of valid documentation. NEC spokesman Khorn Keomono said the CP failed to fulfil one of the three main requirements: including original documentation proving their registration

  • Thong Khon calls for orderly SEA Games closing ceremony

    Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and permanent vice-president of the Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), calls on all people who have received tickets to the May 17 closing ceremony of the biennial multi-sports extravaganza at the Morodok Techo National Stadium to ensure that the event

  • 1.4 billion dollar Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway due in four years

    The Government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has officially signed a public-private partnership agreement with a private company for the construction of a Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway project that will connect the capital to Svay Rieng province. The budget for the project is