French Ambassador to Cambodia, Jacques Pellet, representing President Emmanuel Macron, bestowed the prestigious insignia of Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de l’ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur) upon Minister of Health Chheang Ra on Friday.
The ceremony took place during a Friday reception at the French Ambassador Residence, attended by senior government officials and diplomats.
Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honour stands as France’s highest order of merit. Foreign individuals may receive this honour for their service to France or support for its cherished ideals.
During the presentation, Ambassador Pellet highlighted Ra’s distinguished career, emphasising the enduring connection between France and Cambodia, particularly in the healthcare sector.
Ra played vital roles at Calmette Hospital, chosen as the national reference facility for France’s support in rebuilding Cambodia’s hospital system after the Paris Peace Accords. Serving there for over 25 years, from 1998 to 2023, he held positions such as Deputy Director General and Director General.
Ambassador Pellet commended Ra as one of the major architects of the success achieved over the past thirty years.
“Thirty years on, the objectives have been fully achieved, and HE Chheang Ra is one of the major architects of this success, thanks to his unfailing commitment and professionalism”, said Ambassador Pellet.
Acknowledging the significant progress in Cambodia’s health sector since 1993, the French Ambassador lauded the country’s profound medical knowledge, experienced doctors, and advanced infrastructure.
In response, Ra expressed gratitude for France’s consistent support and highlighted the contributions of various French personalities to the sector’s progress.
He emphasised the collaborative efforts leading to shared pride in the achievements. Ra expressed reliance on French experts for continued health cooperation, aiming for a “fluid and confident” partnership.
France’s commitment in Cambodia extends to supporting medical student training, academic partnerships, and mobilising international technical experts.
The focus includes public health research through institutions like the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, the Institute for Research and Development (IRD), the National Agency for Research on AIDS, Hepatitis, and Emerging Infectious Diseases (ANRS/MIE), and the Centre of International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD).
France is investing substantial human, technical, and financial resources to contribute to global health improvement aligned with Sustainable Development Goals.