THE FIRST PHNOM PENH FORUM (FPPF)

FPPF Rationale

The world today is facing many traditional and non-traditional securities including regional and global instability, insecurity, political chaos, terrorism, cross-border crimes, illegal weapon trafficking, arms race, financial crisis, energy and food crisis, drugs trafficking, environmental pollution, global warming, human trafficking, unfairness, human right violations, pandemics, and natural disaster, etc. These challenges need to be addressed in effective, inclusive and innovative ways in which think-tanks, foundations, research institutes, research departments of the private sector, consultancies, NGOs, and media play an indispensable role.

Think tanks now operate in a variety of political systems, engage in a range of policy-related activities and comprise a diverse set of institutions that have varied organisational forms. While their organisational structure, modes of operation, audience or market and means of support may vary from institution to institution and from country to country, most think tanks share a common goal of producing high-quality research and analysis. These specific strategic functions help promote rationality and transparency in the policy-making process. Think tanks are also one of the many civil society actors in a country.

They often lead the vanguard of political reform and economic development movements around the world, bridging the gap between the government and the public, as well as knowledge and policy communities. If analysts and critics associated with think tanks are allowed to operate freely, they can create an informed citizenry through public education about key policy issues as well as stimulate dialogue among the rest of civil society.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) identifies think tanks as the bridge between knowledge and power. At their best, think tanks act as filters and synthesizers that facilitate the identification of policy issues, the design of policy solutions, and the implementation of and feedback on policy decisions. The proliferation, global expansion, and networking of think tanks have magnified their potential to research and develop solutions to the global public policy issues of today.

While policy-makers may lack the tools to quickly respond to a critical policy problem, they often suffer, not from a lack of information, but from an avalanche of information that gets in the way of effective decision-making. Overcoming these obstacles often requires knowing where to turn for rigorous, reliable and accessible information and analysis. The challenge then for policy-makers and think tanks is to harness the vast reservoir of knowledge and associational energy that exists in public policy research organisations in every region of the world for the public good.

The world is now entering an era of new geopolitics which is in a difficult transition towards a multiplicity where old, new and other emerging actors are competing for roles in regional and global affairs. This trend has also affected think tanks and NGOs. For one thing, the process has transformed their research and program agendas. Think tanks and NGOs have been pushed to look beyond primarily national matters to address global issues and trans-border policy problems concerning the environment, security, trade, refugees and human rights. In tandem with the globalization of research, agendas have been the global dissemination of think tank research via the internet. Many think tank researchers and NGOs’ activists have been important commentators on globalization and geopolitical competition for media.

However, there is still a gap between government, think tanks, NGOs and media; and the policy dialogue between them is still weak or simply not in place. In addition, networking and interaction between think tanks, NGOs and media is still in a loose manner. In this sense, the FPPF will be held under the theme of “The Role of Think-Tanks, NGOs and Media in the New Context: Addressing Challenges Together” by bringing together think-tanks and NGOs in Southeast Asia and Europe to collectively work and address challenges together.

FPPF Objectives

The FPPF has the following objectives:

  • To identify the indispensable roles of Think-Tanks and NGOs as well as media in addressing the pressing issues and challenges.
  • To examine the positioning of Think-Tanks and NGOs in influencing policy development.
  • To assess how globalization and geopolitical competition impact Think-Tanks, media and NGOs.
  • To encourage the constructive interaction between the policy, scientific and social communities represented at the FPPF.
  • To jointly establish the Phnom Penh Integrity Initiative for Think Tanks and NGOs as guiding principles for Think-Tanks and NGOs.

FPPF Date and Venue

The FPPF will be held physically on 7 September 2022 at the Indradevi Conference Hall,

Royal Academy of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.

FPPF Agenda

The FPPF will be divided into six sessions as follows:

  • Opening Ceremony: The FPPF will be started with the welcoming remarks by His Excellency Dr. Kin Phea, Director General of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, followed by four congratulatory remarks by representatives of four think-tanks and NGOs; and concluded by opening keynote speech by H.E. Dr. Yang Poeu, Secretary General of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, Cambodia.
  • Plenary session 1: The Roles of Think-Tanks and NGOs in Addressing the Pressing Issues and Challenges: There will be five speakers from Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • Plenary session 2: Positioning Think-Tanks and NGOs for Policy Influence: There will be five speakers from Cambodia, Laos and Czech Republic.   
  • Plenary session 3: Think-Tanks, Media and NGOs in Globalization and Geopolitical Competition Context: There will be five speakers from Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Closing ceremony: It will be started with the concluding remarks, the announcement of next year’s forum and the proposition of the Thin-Tank sand NGOs Pact for next year’s discussion by His Excellency Dr. Kin Phea, Director General of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia of the Royal Academy of Cambodia; followed by four congratulatory remarks by representatives of four think-tanks, NGOs and media; and concluded by closing keynote speech by His Excellency Academician Sok Touch, President of the Royal Academy of Cambodia.
  • Signing Ceremony of “Phnom Penh Integrity Initiative for Think Tanks and NGOs”: The Phnom Penh Integrity Initiative for Think Tanks and NGOs as guiding principles for Think-Tanks and NGOs. in maintaining integrity, independence, transparency, multi-stakeholder engagement, professionalism, neutrality and impartiality; attaching great importance on the healthy relationship between government, think tanks, NGOs, media, business and civil society; and promoting sustainable, effective and innovative policy dialogues for peace.

Draft Agenda

FPPF Participants

The FPPF will bring together around 80 participants from different backgrounds and positions as follows:

  • Scholars and researchers from national and international think-tanks in Cambodia,
  • University professors and students
  • Governmental Ministries’ representatives,
  • RAC researchers,

FPPF Languages

Th FPPF will be conducted in both Khmer and English to ensure all participants can more easily understand and interact. Simultaneous interpreting/translation will be provided during the forum.

FPPF General Coordinator

His Excellency Dr. Kin Phea,

Director General,

International Relations Institute of Cambodia,

Royal Academy of Cambodia

Mobile Phone/Telegram/WhatsApp/WeChat: (855) 12 775 324 (Kin Phea)

Email: kinphea@gmail.com

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