Asia Forum: Navigating ASEAN Centrality amidst US-China Rivalries
The year 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Cambodia is the current chair of ASEAN. While still trying to shake off health and economic issues from the pandemic, renewed and heightened geopolitics has added more complexity to the equation. ASEAN is at the centre of this, as Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand respectively host ASEAN, G20 and the APEC Summit this year.
Asia Forum, in collaboration with the Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence, Victoria University of Wellington and New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (Wellington Branch) is proud to host an event to reflect on the journey that ASEAN and its members have been through and update on current regional and global issues at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings which Cambodia recently hosted in Phnom Penh.
According to Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, ASEAN centrality and unity is the hallmark of the bloc’s success and the primary driving force behind substantive dialogue and cooperation with its external partners. With decades of relative peace and stability, ASEAN has prospered way beyond expectations, with high-growth and development and a steady improvement of its people’s wellbeing. Outlook is highly positive.
H.E. Amb. Pou Sothirak has been Executive Director of Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) since 2013. He also serves as an Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia. He was appointed as Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia from September 2013 to January 2014. He was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of the Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore from January 2009 to December 2012. He also served as Cambodia’s Ambassador to Japan from April 2005 to November 2008. He was elected Cambodian Member of Parliament twice during the national general election in 1993 and 2003. He was appointed as Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy of the Royal Government of Cambodia from 1993 to 1998. He has written extensively on various issues concerning the development of Cambodia and the region.