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Intervention of Hon. Dr Werner Fasslabend in the Cambodia ILC in July 2023

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

The war in Ukraine has become a game changer in European and global politics. For the first time after world war II, a conventional war against a sovereign state namely Ukraine, a founding member of United Nations, was launched in Europe by Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council. This aggression changed fundamentally the existing European security order since the end of the cold war more than 30 years ago. As a consequence, neutral countries like Finland and Sweden (the latter had a neutral status for more than 200 years) decided to join NATO in order to benefit from the protection of the alliance in the case of future aggression by neighboring Russia.

Practically all European countries acted solidarily with the invaded Ukrainian nation state. They cut their intense and friendly political and economic relations with Russia. At the same time, they decided to increase their military budgets for the coming years in order to be better prepared against a potential aggressor Russia: military aggression must not be allowed to become successful or it will never end. The consequence of this fatal situation is a need, especially for smaller and medium sized countries, to strengthen their military capabilities and to cooperate with others, in order to prevent the outbreak of a military war in their neighborhood. It will be necessary to make it obvious and clear that military aggression by bigger powers will not be profitable anymore.

The development and strengthening of a political union like the European Union has changed fundamentally European security. The members of the E.U. discuss, decide and cooperate successfully together on the strategic and political situation of the continent. The same will be true for other greater regions on the globe like the Southeastern Asian Nations with ASEAN. The concentration of imminent challenges and crises like the nuclear threat in North Korea, the possible outbreak of war in Taiwan, and the dangers for free navigation in the South China Sea deserve the development of a common security policy for the whole region.

Cambodia can play an important role for the security, stability and growth of the Southeast Asian region and for the present and future sovereignty and independence of ASEAN states.

Peace and stability are and will remain the precondition for the wellbeing of people all over the world; therefore it is our common interest to engage and if necessary to fight for peace.

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