During its 2022 Retreat held at Preah Vihear last April 10-12, 2022, a great news was shared to us by the founders of Asian Vision Institute (AVI). AVI unveiled the planned TECHO Leadership Academy in fulfillment of its mission to promote inclusive growth and people-centred developments. AVI aims to advocate knowledge sharing and capacity building for future ASEAN leaders.
For the month of April 2022, we put our editorial emphasis on geo-political news in the Asia-Pacific region in line with our creed to build peaceful, inclusive, adaptive and sustainable societies in Asia.
From the roles of ASEAN mechanism and dialogue partners for peace mediation in Myanmar to ASEAN regional security outlook, these are some issues we have explored this month. AVI is very proud to have sponsored international conferences on these issues recognized as regional problems to be solved, even from the ASEAN point of view.
This month, the big story is the challenges to achieving sustainable development in the ASEAN and European Union. In a commentary paper by H.E. Suos Yara, member of the Parliament, he said, “ASEAN is a reliable partner of the EU in promoting open, inclusive and rules-based multilateralism.” He added that these two regional organizations are pillars of world peace in promoting inter-regional integration.
While much of the world is focusing on Ukraine, we should keep a keen eye on the ASEAN Chairmanship of Cambodia. YEH Kyhok’s perspective paper said, this time is a critical moment for Cambodia. Regardless of challenges, according to YEH Kyhok, issues facing ASEAN, particularly post-COVID 19 Economic Recovery, conflicts in Myanmar and South China Sea, Cambodia is conferred with invaluable opportunity to showcase its leadership to the international community. Dr. Chheang Vannarith sounded pessimistic in his commentary paper, “ASEAN Regional Security Outlook,” when he said, “Myanmar today is on the verge of a full-fledged civil war and seems ASEAN does not have a solution to it. “
Cambodia’s IT fragility is another theme that we have doggedly pursued. I am very proud that our CIDE researchers on the global e-commerce supply chain and digital transformation in Cambodia have added a new angle to stories covering the digital transformation of Cambodia.
AVI’s commentary by Seng Sopheak on Cambodia striving to improve its social protection system and achieve sustainable development goal (SDG 1.3) is also a must-read. He concluded that “despite the growing scope and coverage of social protection schemes in Cambodia,” there are schemes that continue to protect only a minority of the population against life cycle risks. .
Lastly, for an earnest weekend read, I recommend a perspective paper about “Neoliberalism and Foreign Aid” by ROS Sayumphu. The paper seeks to “uncover the possibility that the assistance conditions imposed on recipient states are not really for their benefit” but an instrument used by Western power for its economic dominance.
Stay safe and healthy, and have a wonderful weekend!
Alfredo C. Panizales
Editor-in-Chief, Asian Vision Institute