Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cambodian Students Debate with EU on Co-op Relations

Dignified and senior representatives of the European Union and European Commission on Tuesday led a debate with some 300 Cambodian students on relations between the EU and Cambodia.
In a statement released Tuesday by the European Union, it said the debate was led by British Ambassador Andrew Mace, representing the European Union Presidency, and Mrs. Michelle Labeeu, the Charge d'Affaires of the European Commission's Delegation to Cambodia.

The debate, which took place at the University of Cambodia, one of the leading private universities in the country, touches on topics like development cooperation, political and commercial relations and the regional context provided by the ASEAN.

The debate also marks the launch of the fifth edition of the EU 'Blue Book', the annual report detailing the EU development cooperation activities in Cambodia. This edition shows the EU provided an estimated 214 million U.S. dollars of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2008, making the EU the largest grant donor of ODA in Cambodia.

The EU 'Blue Book' provides comprehensive information on EU support to help Cambodia achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

According to the statement, EU development partners are providing support for education, health, human rights and democracy, rural development, natural resource management, decentralization and de-concentration, legal and judicial reform, public financial management, as well as trade and private sector development.

"The Blue Book aims to put information about what the EU is doing into a more accessible form. I welcome the opportunity of its launch to discuss with young Cambodians the contribution of the EU to Cambodia's development and to hear their views on our work here," said Ambassador Andrew Mace.

Mrs. Michelle Labeeu, who also emphasized the importance of open discussion with students, said that "these young people will play an important role in Cambodia's future. It is very important to provide them an opportunity to debate the multi-faceted relations that their country has with the European Union," she added.

From: http://english.cri.cn/

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