Minister Addresses UN General Assembly

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong told the international community that industrialized nations should better address global threats that have a detrimental impact on developing nations.

In a wide-ranging speech to world leaders gathered at the U.N.’s headquarters in New York, Mr. Namhong said the devastating effect of climate change hit agriculture-reliant nations, such as Cambodia, the hardest.

“We know now that industrialized countries which consume most of the world’s fossil fuels emit massive amounts of greenhouse gas while the developing countries, which produce little of such gases, become the main victims of the climate change,” he said, citing the flooding last year that claimed 168 lives and caused an estimated $1 billion in damage in Cambodia.

Mr. Namhong highlighted the importance of the U.N. principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” which says that all states are responsible for environmental degradation.

He also called for “bolder and more focused global efforts” to meet the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 deadline, saying that progress toward meeting the objectives had been derailed, in part, because wealthy nations’ attention was elsewhere during the global financial crisis.

After touching on various political issues, including the rise of the militant Islamic State and armed conflicts in Africa, Mr. Namhong announced that Cambodia would next month dispatch more than 200 peacekeepers to a U.N. mission in Africa as part of his country’s “ongoing contribution to the peace process in the Middle East and Africa.”

“We have dispatched, up to now, more than 2,000 peacekeepers to Lebanon, Mali and South Sudan,” he said.

“In November of this year, Cambodia will deploy another detachment of 216 peacekeepers to Central African Republic to the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission.”

Mr. Namhong ended his speech by calling for reform of the U.N., saying more power should be in the hands of the General Assembly and that the composition of the body’s Security Council should better represent the present reality of the world order.

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