Cambodia calls for start of ASEAN Travel Corridor process

Wednesday, 2021-10-06 21:03:55
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Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn (Photo:
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NDO/VNA - Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn has emphasised the importance of implementing the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework to enable travel and business activities across the region to gradually return to normal, towards the establishment of a standing working group to kick-start this process.

The official attended the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the 24th ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Council Meeting, and the 30th ASEAN Coordinating Councial (ACC) Meeting on October 4 via teleconference, according to a press release by the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Prak Sokhonn reaffirmed the importance of respecting the goals and principles of the ASEAN Charter; the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC); the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality Treaty (ZOPFAN), the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

Minister Prak Sokhonn expressed concern that rising geopolitical tensions and superpower rivalry could escalate into an arms race and destabilise the region. In this regard, the Cambodian minister stressed the importance of upholding the principles of preserving Southeast Asia as a nuclear weapons-free zone and the signing of the Protocol on the SEANWFZ by the five nuclear powers. He also informed about the recent launch of the "Friends of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre" group in Phnom Penh to support the centre's activities on humanitarian aspects of demining.

He also expressed his concern about the job security and well-being of migrant workers in the region, emphasising Cambodia's support for the recommendations raised at the 14th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML) on extending social protection to migrant workers and mobilising international support for upskill and reskill programmes.

Cambodia reaffirmed its support for Timor Leste's application to join ASEAN, as well as supporting the country's faster integration in a series of capacity building programmes within the ASEAN framework, he said.

At the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meeting, the ministers emphasised the importance of maintaining multilateralism, as well as the need to ensure ASEAN's centrality and unity in the face of emerging regional challenges and evolving geopolitical dynamics.