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Nation - Religion - King

Seventh Meeting of the
 Government-Donor Coordination Committee (GDCC)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 14 June 2006

Opening Remarks
by Sr. Minister Keat Chhon, M.P.

Minister of Economy and Finance
First Vice-Chairman, Council for the Development of Cambodia
Chairman, GDCC
Royal Government of Cambodia

Colleagues from the Government
Distinguished Representatives of Development Cooperation Partners
Ladies and Gentlemen

1.      It an honour and a pleasure for me to welcome you to the seventh meeting of the Government-Donor Coordination Committee. I am pleased to inform you that based on inputs CDC has received from donor-donor informal meetings and discussion within the Royal Government it has been agreed that:

  1. the discussion at the GDCC meetings will be more sharply focused on a few items; and

  2. the frequency of GDCC meetings will be reduced from four to three in a year to reduce burden both on our development partners as well as the ministries and agencies. Therefore, between now and the next consultative meeting planned for June 2007 only two more meetings of the GDCC will be organized. I would like to propose that the next two meetings of the GDCC be held in October 2006 and February 2007.

2.      Accordingly, the discussion at today's meeting on progress will focus on the following six areas:

  1. The Anti-corruption Law.

  2. Legal and Judicial Reform.

  3. Public Administration Reform.

  4. The NSDP monitoring framework.

  5. The Agriculture and Natural resources with focus on Land Registration and Forestry.

  6. Decentralization and De-concentration Reform.

In addition, the Secretariat of the GDCC has prepared a report on "Overview of TWGs Progress" over the last six months that has been distributed to you this morning. To save time, I would like to discontinue the practice of a presentation of this report by my colleague H.E. Chhieng Yanara.

3.     With respect to signing of the Declaration today, I am postponing the signing ceremony of the Declaration to the next GDCC meeting. I have taken this action to ensure that all of us who want to support our joint efforts to enhance aid effectiveness are provided an opportunity to participate. It is my hope that by next GDCC meeting we would have secured the agreement of the largest number of our development partners.

4.     Let me take this opportunity to also provide you an update on the work that is currently underway on the TWG and GDCC mechanism. As you know, Mr. Natarajan, who knows Cambodia well, was recruited by CDC to assist CDC in carrying out this review. I have been informed that he has consulted most of the development partners. After Mr. Natarajan submits his report to CDC, CDC will prepare a RGC policy paper in Khmer that will be discussed internally with the Royal Government ministries and agencies, and revised to reflect inputs of ministries and agencies. This revised draft will be translated in English and used for discussions with our development partners, after which it will be submitted for review and approval by the Royal Government.

5.     Before we begin our discussion on the six items, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Farid Siddiqui, who has been the Senior Advisor to CDC over the last four and half years. I would like to thank UNDP for making his services available to CDC. He has made outstanding contributions to the work of the CDC and in particular in assisting the Royal Government in formulating our aid coordination policies and building capacity of the CDC staff. We have appreciated his commitment to work as part of the CDC team rather than as an outside advisor. He has assisted us in articulating options while making room for CDC management to take the ownership of making decisions in selecting the appropriate option. At the same time sharing responsibility for getting CDC's work done. I understand that he is retiring from full time work and on behalf of the Royal Government I would like to offer our best wishes to him and his family. In recognition of his services on behalf of the Royal Government, it is my pleasure to present to Dr. Siddiqui a medal for his outstanding contributions to Cambodia's development.


Thank you.

14 June 2006

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