On Thursday 20 November, European partners launched the first joint Strategy for the Development Cooperation with Cambodia. The Strategy covers the period 2014-2018 and is aligned to the key strategic documents defining the development priorities of the Royal Government of Cambodia for the period 2014-2018.
Within the overall framework of the Strategy, European partners will work in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia, civil society, parliamentarians from different political parties and the private sector to reduce poverty; enable equitable and sustainable growth and development; foster respect for human rights, democratic participation and principles, and an active civil society in Cambodia; and to improve the effectiveness and impact of development cooperation. European partners participating in the joint strategy are: the Czech Republic, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The launch took place at the Palais du Governement and was presided over by H.E. Mr Chhieng Yanara. Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of CRDB/CDC. It was made in the presence of European ambassadors of participating countries, representatives of officials from the Royal Government of Cambodia, the private sector, civil society and the media.
A presentation of the joint Strategy was made by Ms Kristina Kühnel of the Embassy of Sweden. Ms Kühnel i.a. explained the comparative advantage of European partners in Cambodia. This is what she said:
Our comparative advantages mean that we think that there are certain areas in which we can particularly contribute with experiences and knowledge for the benefit of Cambodia’s further development. This includes our long tradition of democratic governance, including issues such as transparency, equality, accountability and ensuring citizen’s rights and participation – aspects that have served us very well in our development and growth. It also includes a strong commitment to respect human rights and our application of a human rights based approach to development, where we pay attention both to enable the right holders to demand and exercise their rights – right holders are normally referred to as citizens – and to enable duty bearers – normally public institutions – to understand and respond to the needs as expressed by the citizens.
We also have long experience of regional integration, which is something that is becoming increasingly important for Cambodia in light of the upcoming ASEAN economic integration. We have also cutting edge knowledge in the area of science and technology and decades of experience in the area of social protection and welfare systems. In addition, we are quite advanced when it comes to environmental protection and equality between men and women. All this represents collective European knowledge, experience and values that we would like to share with the Cambodian people.
Source: Embassy of Sweden in Cambodia