PHNOM PENH, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The mayors of capital cities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered here on Friday to discuss ways to promote comprehensive cooperation for building smart, resilient, and sustainable cities in the region.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Mayors Forum and the Meeting of Governors/Mayors of ASEAN Capitals 2022, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said cities are the hearts of countries and regions, and they are places for all kinds of activities, particularly in the socio-economic, cultural and political fields.
"In this sense, the socio-economic development and the building of a strong, sustainable and inclusive community must begin with the building and connecting of smart, resilient and sustainable cities," he said.
Established in 2018, the ASEAN Smart Cities Network has been making significant contributions to realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the New Urban Agenda, he said.
Hun Sen said that in the context that ASEAN and the world have been facing a series of challenges, building smart and green cities with the use of digital technology is the most accurate direction for the present and future.
"Smart cities have great potentials in addressing common issues of urban planning in an innovative way, strengthening resilience to various risks, and especially improving the well-being and prosperity of the livelihoods of local people in a new normal," he said.
"Furthermore, smart cities will become major poles for promoting stronger socio-economic, business, trade and investment activities, as well as providing job and business opportunities to the general population in countries and the entire ASEAN region," he added.
The Cambodian leader said that ensuring peace, security, stability and prosperity is the main and most important foundation for building smart, resilient and sustainable cities.
He said all ASEAN city and capital administrations should work together to accelerate and expand the potentials of the ASEAN smart city connectivity and integration, by jointly promoting digitalization and digital transformation.
Meanwhile, Hun Sen asked ASEAN local governments to support the Cambodia-proposed ASEAN Green Deal, which aims to contribute to the building of greener ASEAN smart cities with a more efficient use of resources.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.