PHNOM PENH, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Monday that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needs to stand in unity to address key challenges for the sake of regional peace, stability and sustainable development.
In a video message to mark the ASEAN Day, Hun Sen, chair of ASEAN for 2022, said Cambodia is committed to upholding and promoting ASEAN centrality, unity, and solidarity to address common regional challenges and to enhancing the bloc's contribution to regional and global peace, stability, security, and sustainable development.
"ASEAN needs to stand by on our unity for cooperation and mutual interest," he said. "We will strive to focus on actions that bind us together for (the) greater prosperity of our region."
Hun Sen said it is true that ASEAN cannot guarantee the absence of wars and conflicts, but at least, ASEAN has served as an open platform for constructive dialogue and consultation, which has enormously contributed to upholding peace and stability in the region.
He said more than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN has managed to overcome this global crisis and its adverse effects on public health, society, economy and daily livelihood of the people.
He added that the bloc has come up with many initiatives to curb the impacts of this health crisis by adopting a broad ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework to safeguard people's lives and maintain social stability and economic growth.
"We can safely say that we are now in the recovering phase," Hun Sen said.
"In sum, we believe that ASEAN can forge ahead with strength, solidarity, and friendship to overcome all the challenges that are facing us for the common good of our peoples and our region, in line with the core spirit of ASEAN: 'One Vision, One Identity, One Community'," he added.
Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ■