I was so pleased to be able to welcome my boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, back to Cambodia yesterday. I am thrilled to have her here in Phnom Penh so she can participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum, and learn about all of the progress and exciting changes that have occurred in Cambodia since her last visit.
On her first visit over a year and a half ago, Secretary Clinton had the great honor of meeting His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, and I know she found him to be as gracious as I did. She also met with over 700 Cambodian youth at Chaktomuk Hall, and answered their questions about the U.S.-Cambodia relationship for almost an entire hour. Secretary Clinton, like me, believes that youth are key to every country’s future, the U.S. and Cambodia alike. The great thing about the youth who participated in the town hall meeting with Secretary Clinton in November 2010 was that they didn’t pull any punches. They asked her all the tough questions, all the right questions. Leaders need to be questioned and challenged, it keeps us honest.
During her visit to Cambodia this week, Secretary Clinton will participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum meetings with her counterparts from nations all over Asia. They will talk about a large variety of things, from doing business with ASEAN, to the Lower Mekong Initiative, to women’s empowerment. As our leaders gather, we should all think about what we want them to know. What do you think should be discussed at ASEAN? What would you tell Secretary Clinton, if you had the chance? Leave me a message, and I’ll pass your thoughts on!