Cambodia International Conference of Asian Political Parties: Quest for a Better Tomorrow

Manila Bulletin, December 11, 2010 | Go to article overview
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Cambodia International Conference of Asian Political Parties: Quest for a Better Tomorrow

MANILA, Philippines - Upon Cambodia Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen's invitation, FVR attended the 6th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) and Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Centrist Democrats International (CDI)-Asia Pacific in Phnom Penh last 01-04 December.

The Philippines has maintained close diplomatic ties with Cambodia for more than 50 years, with bilateral relations between them being strengthened over the years with high-level visits among their leaders. Following an official visit to RP by then Cambodia Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Ung Huot on 6-8 August 1996, FVR offered to help promote the English language in Cambodia, and develop its agriculture and social health services to facilitate Cambodia's entry into ASEAN.

The Philippines-Cambodia Business Council under the leadership of (ret.) Gen. Jose Magno Chairman of CITRA Metro Manila Tollways Corporation, has been recently reactivated and provides important channels for bilateral networking through trade missions, business matching, trade shows, friendship roundtables, and similar activities.

Tenth Anniversary of ICAPP

In his letter-invitation, PM Hun Sen emphasized ICAPP's theme: "Asia's Quest for a Better Tomorrow," with special emphasis on economy, energy, and environment issues.

This international event marked the 10th anniversary of the founding of ICAPP and presented the opportunity for Cambodia to showcase its substantial progress after decades of Khmer Rouge genocide, internal turmoil, political reconciliation, democratic restoration, and membership in ASEAN.

PM Hun Sen delivered the inspirational remarks for the four-day event.

Initiated by Lakas-CMD in September 2000, ICAPP was established "to promote exchanges and cooperation between political parties from different countries and strengthen Asia's regional cooperation through the channel of political parties."

The founding meeting of ICAPP was held on 17-19 September 2000 at the Manila Hotel hosted by the Lakas-CMD (with FVR as Chairman Emeritus and former Speaker Jose de Venecia as Secretary General), and counted delegates from 46 political parties from 20 Asian countries in attendance, including the Communist Party of China. Since then, four more ICAPP General Assemblies have been held in Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul, and Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

Today, there are now more than 320 Asian political parties - emanating from 52 Asian countries and one territory - with varying political and ideological backgrounds who participate in ICAPP assemblies and related Asia-Pacific activities. ICAPP's Standing Committee is co-chaired by former Speaker De Venecia and National Assemblyman Chung Eul-yong of the Republic of Korea.

The Centrist Democrats International Arising out of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the Centrist Democrats International (formerly known as Christian Democrats International) was formed in Chile in 1961. It is dedicated to the promotion of Christian democracy and anchored on the legacy of Christian democrats who sought to create a Christian-inspired alternative in governance and people empowerment.

Former Chile President Patricio Alywyn and FVR are the two lifetime Honorary Presidents elected by the CDI General Assembly in Madrid in 1999.

The CDI has now more than 100 member-parties, including ruling administrations in Germany and other European countries. The European People's Party is Europe's largest political aggrupation, with the Christian Democrats Organization of America as its Latin American equivalent.

The US Democratic Party maintains links with CDI through its National Democratic Institution for International Affairs. Current co-presidents of the CDI are Italy's Pier Fernando Casini and Mexico's Vicente Fox.

The Kingdom of Cambodia

Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy of 14 million people with King Norodom Sihamoni as Head of State since 2004.

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