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Asian Political Leaders Meet To Address Regional Issues

Mushahid Hussain Sayed of Pakistan, secretary-general of Centrist Democrats International Asia Pacific, right, confers with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, center left, during a signing ceremony in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010

Ninety-five political leaders from 44 Asia and Pacific nations met in Phnom Penh on Thursday to strengthen their role in the region and boost economic growth and to focus on energy and the environment.

“The common efforts between Asian countries are necessary to deal with the region's problems, as well as the problems in the world,” Prime Minister Hun Sen said in opening remarks for the International Conference of Political Parties of Asia Pacific.

Hun Sen urged participants to push growth within Asia by creating internal demand and internal trade.

An estimated 3.9 billion people live in the Asia Pacific region, accounting for one third of the world's GDP. But many of the Asian nations are hampered by high poverty rates and the region itself is facing a large gap between developed and non-developed countries, Hun Sen said.

In a video address from New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “Our future depends on how we work together.”

“I shall encourage all Asian political parties here to build and strengthen the relationship with each other,” Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohamad Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak said. He urged countries to take “the message of hope and a better future back to your people.”

Hoang Binh Quan, a member of the Vietnamese Central Committee, said the region needed to focus on climate change, poverty, natural disasters and food security.

Li Yuanchao, the Minister of the Organization Department of the Chinese Communist Party, said China would seek relationships and partnerships with neighboring countries while pursuing a “policy for security and progress.”