The preservation of today’s hard-earned global peace and prosperity remains a critical issue, as the world faces a wide range of challenges, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn told a gathering of his counterparts on October 12.

He urged the 27 member states of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (Cica) “to rise up to the immediate challenges posed by Covid-19 those caused by persisting issues including great power rivalry, supply chain disruptions, and developmental gaps”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in an October 14 statement.

Sokhonn was speaking at the 6th Cica Ministerial Meeting video link chaired by Kazakh foreign minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi and held under the theme “Security and Sustainable Development in Asia in New Realities of the Post-Pandemic World”.

The Cambodian minister called on countries in the bloc “to reinforce our cooperation in order to enhance Cica’s international standing in promoting inclusive and constructive dialogue, facilitating trade and investment, and carrying out more innovative ways to enhance multi-faceted cooperation across the region such as through Track 1.5 and Track 2 engagements”, the ministry said.

“Cica foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitment to enhance mutual confidence and trust-building with the ultimate purpose of promoting peace, security, stability, and prosperity across the Asian region.

“The meeting exchanged views and set out common directions on a number of important regional and global issues including the importance of upholding a rules-based multilateral trading system and environmental protection.

“[It also] discussed the need to capitalise on the latest technologies to facilitate socio-economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the importance of upholding human rights in their entirety in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and International Law,” it added.