Here is the integral text of a Statement delivered by His Excellency Senior Minister HOR Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the closing session of the 9th ARF, Brunei Darussalam, 31 July 2002 :
Your Royal Highness, Chairman of the 9th ARF,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to His Royal Highness, Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Darussalam, for his active and dynamic Chairmanship of the ARF over the past year.
It is indeed my great honor and privilege to assume the next Chairmanship of the ARF. As the new Chair, Cambodia will do its utmost to further enhance the role of ARF in the region and in the world. I firmly hope that Cambodia would enjoy close cooperation and full support from all the ARF members as they had always provided ARF Chairs.
I am fully confident that with the support and cooperation of the ARF members, we will successfully fulfill the task and responsibility entrusted upon ARF in order to ensure that the ARF remains a relevant and significant regional cooperative security and political forum in the Asia Pacific.
After the tragic September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States of America and consequently the changing concept of security in our world today, the ARF is now facing a new set of unprecedented challenges of international terrorism.
The new security architecture in the Asia Pacific, I believe, will essentially depend on how the ARF will respond to the new threats of terrorism, the need to diffuse the tension in the region, and the need to address transnational issues, such as piracy, small arms and drug trafficking etc.
I believe that the future of our region lies in our common spirit of cooperation and determination to act together within the ARF in order to forge a new political and security agenda for the Asia Pacific region. This is the way forward that must all try to achieve, with your active support and cooperation. As Chair of the ARF, I will, of course, take into consideration the 9 points for the future direction of ARF proposed by our Senior Officials.
Your Royal Highness,
I wish to inform you that Cambodia plans to hold the Tenth ARF Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh on the 18th of June 2003. In this regard, I wish to take this opportunity to extend to Your Excellencies and dear colleagues our warm invitation to participate in the Tenth ARF in Phnom Penh.