Greetings from Dr. Ingo Karsten, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Kingdom of Cambodia, on the occasion of the Day of German Unity 2017Enlarge image (© Deutsche Botschaft/ Svenja Burgwinkel)
Your Excellency, Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Prak Sokhonn,
Distinguished representatives of the Royal Government of Cambodia,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen
I would like to bid a warm welcome to all of you, also on behalf of my wife and the whole team of the German Embassy, celebrating the Day of German Unity and 50 years of diplomatic relations! I am especially delighted that H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation graces this occasion with his presence.
27 years ago, Germany celebrated its reunification and the end of the division of Europe into East and West. To this day, people all over the world are moved when they recall how this separation was overcome. We look back with gratitude at this historic opportunity and at the brave people and wise politicians who laid the foundations for reunification at the time. Among them was the former chancellor Helmut Kohl who passed away this year.
Following German reunification and the wave of democracy and the rule of law that reached many countries in the world at the time, we now find ourselves in an era in which opposing interests are coming to the fore once again. Geopolitical conflicts, terrorism, migration and refugee flows, poverty, and climate change pose great challenges for societies worldwide.
No country in the world can solve these international problems on its own. In view of our own history overcoming tyranny and establishing a democratic state, Germany is willing to shoulder international responsibility. The Day of German Unity is a good occasion to remind ourselves of this.
In this respect Germany is currently applying for a non‑permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2019/20 term.
With the Kingdom of Cambodia Germany has a long-standing and friendly relationship. This year we celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations. We have gone a long way by not only deepening and strengthening our bilateral relations. Germany and Cambodia have also been cooperating closely in international forums, like the United Nations on security issues and climate policies. I should like to seize this opportunity to thank the Royal Government of Cambodia, and in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation under the leadership of H.E. Prak Sokhonn, for its continuous and valuable support. On the occasion of 50 years of diplomatic relations, the German Foreign Office is glad to invite 8 young Cambodian diplomats to participate in a special diplomatic formation program in Germany next year.
The Kingdom of Cambodia is an important Partner Country of our development cooperation in South East Asia since 1993. This year`s successful German-Cambodian governmental negotiations on development cooperation focused on rural development and food security, the health sector and decentralization reforms. Our development institutions GIZ and KfW are key partners in implementing the joint programs with the Royal Government of Cambodia in order to contribute to further reducing poverty in this country.
For 20 years now Germany has also been supporting Cambodia with scientific knowledge to conserve the temples of Angkor and vocational training on stone conservation- we will celebrate this anniversary at the ICC Conference in Siem Reap in December.
I cannot name all activities Germany is supporting in Cambodia, but let me mention only a few more because they are so important to our relationship. The Civil Peace Service with its partners is strengthening reconciliation in Cambodia. We also continue our assistance to mine clearance though the organization of Halo Trust with major financial contributions.
The German Chapter within the EuroCham plays an important role in fostering bilateral trade which is developing remarkably well this year. German political foundations and NGOs supported by Germany play a great role in the institution building process of Cambodia.
Let me therefore take this opportunity to whole-heartedly thank the German institutions and their Cambodian partners for their marvelous and endless efforts to promote the political, economic, social and cultural development of Cambodia.
As the German Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia I am highly confident that this long-standing relationship between our two countries remains solid and trust-worthy for the benefit of our peoples. The re-united Germany remains committed, together with its European partners, to further support the development of peace and democracy in Cambodia and the well-being of the Cambodian people.
Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, may I now ask you to raise your glasses and join me in a toast – to the health of His Majesty the King Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath NORODOM SIHAMONI and Her Majesty the Queen Mother NORODOM MONINEATH SIHANOUK, to the prosperous well-being of the Cambodian people and my German compatriots in Cambodia. Let the friendship between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Federal Republic of Germany continue to flourish!