SIEM REAP, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona on Wednesday called on ASEAN peers to take extra precautionary actions to protect cultural properties, saying that cultural heritage tourism is a driver for the region's post-COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery.
Speaking at the special ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Culture Sector session here, which was attended virtually and physically by ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) and government representatives, Sackona said cultural property is the foundation of the past, present and future of every nation.
It reflects the identity, culture, wisdom, knowledge, and pride of a nation, she said.
"Cultural heritage tourism is especially critical for ASEAN's economy, and it is projected to be an important driver to the rebuilding of the region's post-pandemic economy," she said.
As the AMCA chair, Cambodia would like to propose that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) further strengthen cooperation, so that the bloc could develop an effective and coordinated response to the protection of cultural property, and mitigate the ill effects of the illicit trafficking of cultural property.
Cambodia is dedicated to working with ASEAN member states to develop an action plan to enhance cultural property protection in the region, she added.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ■