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Intervention by: H.E. NUTH CHANSOKHA,
Under Secretary of State and Alternative National Focal Point
Ministry of Planning, Kingdom of Cambodia
at
Workshop of National Focal Points for LDCs
on
Implementation the Istanbul Program of Action
15 October 2012, UN Headquarter, New York, USA
Mr. Chairman/ Madam Chairperson
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1.
At the outset, on behalf of Cambodian delegation, I would like to congratulate you,
Mr. Chairman on your election as Chairman of the Workshop of NFPs for LDCs . May I
also express my sincere thanks to the United Nations for organizing this workshop and the
invitation extended to the Cambodian delegation to participate at the time.
2.
The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) fully recognizes and embraces the
Istanbul Program of Action 2011-2020 adopted at the Fourth United Nations Conference
on the LDCs.
3.
In response to this Program of Action, the RGC formulated the National Strategic
Development Plan Update 2009-2013 to synchronize development planning with the
term of the electoral mandate. The RGC has evolved a “Rectangular Strategy”, which has
been the hallmark of development in the recent years. The core elements of the
Rectangular Strategy Phase II (RS II) are key reforms in public administration, legal and
judicial systems, armed forces reforms, focusing on peace and political stability,
partnerships in development, a favourable macroeconomic environment, and the country’s
integration with the region and the world. Along with the central elements, agriculture and
its allied activities, infrastructure, investments into human-capital, civil society engagement
and private sector development are sectoral priorities of RS II.
Mr. Chairman
4.
It is my privilege to present to this Workshop about the brief progress report in the
context of implementation of the Istanbul Program of Action, as follow:
5.
Cambodia’s GDP per capita is estimated about $ 901 in 2011. During 2004-2007,
the annul economic growth rate exceeded 10%. Growth rate slightly declined to 6.7% in
2008, and with a sharp downturn in 2009 (0.1%) due to the global financial crisis. In 2010
and 2011, growth bounced back to 6%-7% per annum. The inflation increase to two-digit
figure in 2008, but at present it has decreased to between 5%-6%; and the exchange rate
of Riel to dollar has not fluctuated more than 5%. In 2009, the preliminary forecast showed
that the proportion of people living below the poverty line is about 20%.
6.
The RGC promulgated a comprehensive Anti-corruption Law in 2010 and it gives
the jurisdiction to the RG to enforce this law. Various legislative and public administrative
reform programs are taking place. The important point that should be noted is the role of
district-commune councils in implementing development programs in the framework of
deconcentration and decentralization that are worth between USD 70 million to USD 90
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million per annum. For more detail progresses of the macroeconomic and social
developments have been shown in Cambodia brief report.
Key Challenges
7.
As the external factors have keep on evolving, there are many challenges
Cambodia will be facing. Among them, readiness for Cambodia’s economic integration into
the ASEAN, to achieve CMDGs and Cambodia must also be ready for moving Cambodia
out of the LDC status, i.e. live with fewer grants/concessional loans and no easy access to
preferential markets for export. Finally, global recession and the European sovereign debt
crisis will continue taking their own toll, impacting small developing countries like
Cambodia.
8.
The internal challenges, Cambodia has had to deal with: - paucity of physical and
human resources - the need to improve the coordination between different
ministries/agencies in the government- the need to further the deconcentration and
decentralization (D&D) reforms - the need to minimise reliance on ‘ project based’
approaches and graduate to ‘ program/sectoral-based ’ approaches - and the need to
strengthen Monitoring and Evaluation.
Way Forward
9.
The RGC recognizes that NSDP plays a central role as the main policy tool in
implementing national development visions pronounced in political platform and national
development strategies of the RG. At the same time, through NSDP the RGC aims to
sustain the fruits of efforts achieved until so far. The RGC will prepare two important policy
documents: - First the new NSDP 2014-2018, which will be prepared next year. This policy
document will review progress, identify the main lessons to be learned and will guide us on
where resources are to be allocated and – the second is the Development Cooperation
and Partnership Strategy, which constitutes the rules of the games for our development
partnership and serves as a tool for mobilization of the external development resources. In
both cases, the principle of transparency will be an important guide in how we will work
together in the future and how we must embrace partnerships with other important
development actors.
10.
Cambodia continues to expand policy cooperation with development partners, and
donor communities to strengthen governance, broaden and deepen reform programs in all
sectors. These tasks must be consolidated into a single system, interconnected and
mutually complimentary for the realization of socio-economic development goals, the
management of development work, and the protection of natural resources and
environment.
11.
Cambodia had initially set 2015 has the target year to graduate out of the leastdeveloped country status. This will probably now be extended to 2018, or 2020 the latest.
The implications of this would be at least two:
a. The country will not automatically qualify for obtaining grants or highly concessional loans
from donor-partner countries and multi/bi-lateral agencies.
b. The economy’s exports, typically garments, might not have easy access to many
international markets, including non-tariff barriers.
Conclusion
12.
The achievement of the overall peace, political stability and successful
implementation of the Rectangular Strategic Policy, Cambodia has experienced high rate
of socio-economic development and growth with GDP growth averaging 10% per year in a
decade 1998-2008, and 6%-7% of GDP growth in 2010-2011, thereby achieving the
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Government’s poverty reduction is excess of 1% per year. In this regard, the country has
ensured food security, through a priority water policy and management adaptive to flood
and drought, and a variety of rice seed adapting to climate change. Note that Cambodia
recently exported ½ million ton of rice and plans to export 1 million tons of rice in 2015. At
the same time, Cambodia has fully integrated itself into region and the world and is
actively engaging in various international cooperation based on the principle of equal
status and equal rights.
13.
The Royal Government of Cambodia recognizes that the achievements were
accomplished because of the generous contribution from all of Cambodia’s cooperation
partners. It also reflects the gradual improvement in the efficient and effective utilization of
all kinds of cooperation financing that Cambodia has received from its external cooperation
partners.
14.
On this auspicious occasion, on behalf of the Cambodian delegation I would like to
express our heart-felt gratitude to all development partners for their invaluable and ongoing efforts to the sustainable development, poverty reduction and the development
initiatives in Cambodia.
Mr. Chairman
15.
Finally, the RGC remains highly committed to accelerate the achievements of
CMDGs, while addressing climate change and gender considerations by balancing
ecological conservation and safety with sustained socio-economic development of the
country.
16.
Also, Cambodia is convinced that all the LDCs will be able to overcome the existing
constraints and challenges to sustainable development when the Istanbul Program of
Action on LDCs for the period from 2011-2020 is fully and effectively implemented with
sound financial and strong technical assistance from the international community, thus
helping the LDCs achieve their 2020 objectives.
Thank you very much Mr. Chairman for your kind attention.
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