Phnom Penh: Cambodia, the Host of the 13thASEM Summit (ASEM13), organized the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) via videoconference on 2-3 July 2020. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. SOK Siphana, Senior Advisor of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and ASEM SOM Leader for Cambodia, and participated by SOM Leaders of all ASEM Partners.
Dr. SOK expressed his sincere appreciation for the support that all ASEM Partners have extended to Cambodia in hosting ASEM13. He highlightedCambodia’s efforts, both logistically and substantively, in ensuring the success of the Summit, which had initially been scheduled to be held on 16-17 November 2020 in Phnom Penh under the theme: “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth.” Due to COVID-19, however, all ASEM SOM Leaders unanimously expressed their understanding of and support for Cambodia’s request to postpone ASEM13to mid-2021.
The Meeting stressed the need to promote effective multilateralism and collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused not only daunting challenges to public health system across the globe but also a severe fallout to the global economy. To this end, ASEM SOM Leaders discussed the draft ASEM Ministerial Statement on COVID-19, which is expected to be releasedin mid-July 2020.
The Meeting looked forward to the next ASEM SOM Meeting to be held in late September 2020 by Germany, who is holding the Presidency of the European Council.