Palais du Gouvernement, 10 September 2004
Minister Samdech Hun Sen,
1. It is a great pleasure today for both the Government and the Donor Community to meet again for the first time after the formation of the Royal Government of the 3rd legislature of the National Assembly in the framework of Pre-Consultative Group Meeting, in the form of a restricted cabinet meeting, expanded to include the representatives of the donor community at such a marvelous Palais du Gouvernement. I would like to convey the sentiments of all participants, to express our sincere gratitude to Samdech Hun Sen for chairing this meeting and providing relevant recommendations for the preparation of the seventh Consultative Group meeting which will be held on the 6th of December 2004.
2. After the sixth Consultative Group meeting in June 2002, the Royal Government has basically fulfilled its commitments made with the Donor Community, while its reform agenda and development programs have come to fruition. This argument has been supported by macroeconomic stability, peace, social order, leading to the successful conduct of the general elections on the 27th July 2003, thus the livelihoods of the Kingdom of Cambodia have been sustained in normalcy.
3. During a full year of unusual political developments from July 2003 to July 2004, the Government has fulfilled four noble tasks entrusted by Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen in order to maintain normal livelihoods in the Kingdom of Cambodia and ensure the continuity of the administration and delivery of the public services.
4. The result of implementing the four measures set out by the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen was as follows:
a. We were able to maintain peace and social order;
b. We were able to maintain macroeconomic stability;
c. We were able to continue and expand the scope of our reform and development programs; and
d. We were able to strengthen partnership with Development Partners until achieving the institutionalization of the partnership between the Royal Government and the Donor community. At the same time, we have created favorable conditions for private sector development, e.g. trade facilitation. With the civil society, including the NGOs, the Royal Government has always engaged in regular consultations on various areas of reforms. At the same time, we have spearheaded and enhanced Cambodiaís integration into the region and the world.
5. Although we did not hold a Consultative Group meeting in 2003 or early 2004, our Development Partners did not slow down the disbursement of their assistance. CDCís data show that the gross inflow of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) for Cambodia in 2003 was about US$545 million to finance development projects. This reflects the confidence of our Development Partners in the reform commitment of the Royal Government led by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
6. Currently we have up to 17 reform clusters. We have adopted the principle of Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) arrangement. Among the 17 reform areas, many of them have made significant progress. But others are still slow and lackluster, while some requires further consultation with the development partners.
7. In order to strengthen and rationalize its partnership, the Royal Government of Cambodia has followed the recommendations of the OECD/DAC and the Rome Declaration of 25th February 2003 on Harmonization. In this regard, there will be some qualitative and institutional changes, aimed at strengthening Government-Donor partnership. I would like to request permission from Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen to fervently commend HE. Chhieng Yanara for his hard work in his capacity as the chairman of the Government-Donor Partnership Working Group. As to the institutionalization of this Government-Donor partnership, we would need further guidance from the Prime Minister Samdach Hun Sen to improve its efficiency.
8. The satisfactory achievements of various reform programs has created pre≠conditions for the government to prepare the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) with the IMF, the Country Strategy and Programme (CSP) with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) with the World Bank (WB), and as well as provide avenue for the government to conduct policies dialogue with bilateral Development Partners to develop
9. The achievements were made due to the strong commitment of the Royal Government of Cambodia under the leadership the Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen. Of course, this success could not been made without commitment, tenacity and assistance of our Development Partners, who have worked with us in a systematic manner. Sometimes, they have been very tough, but at the end the result was good for Cambodia. In this regard, I would like to express once again my deep gratitude to all Development Partners for their assistance and support. At this Pre CG meeting we will be honored to listen to the very relevant recommendations of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, who will guide up further in performing our duties.
Thank you for your attention.