Dr. Sok An
|Chairman of the Council of Ministers |
Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia
Assumed office |
16 July 2004
|Prime Minister||Hun Sen|
|Preceded by||Position created|
|Member of Parliament|
Assumed office |
28 May 1993
16 April 1950|
Kirivong, Takéo, Cambodia
|Political party||Cambodian People's Party|
|Spouse(s)||Theng Ay Annie|
Sok Soma |
|Alma mater||University of Phnom Penh|
Dr. Sok An (Khmer: សុខ អាន; born April 16, 1950) is a Cambodian politician. He is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Office of the Council of Ministers. He has served in the Cabinet since 1993. He is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Takéo and a member of the Cambodian People's Party.
Dr. Sok An was born on April 16, 1950, in Kampong village, Preah Bat Chuan Chum commune, Kirivong district, Takeo province to a Hakka Chinese Cambodian family. He is married to Lok Chumteav Annie Sok An, and has five children.
He completed his secondary education in 1967, becoming a high school teacher and in 1969 was appointed as principal of a high school in Kirivong. He pursued higher education at the École Normale Supérieure in Phnom Penh, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Geography, History and Sociology in 1972. In the same year, he also received a High Diploma in Pedagogy. From 1973 to 1975, he attended a high-ranking official training program in Diplomacy at the National School of Administration.
In 1980, he served as personal secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hun Sen. In 1981, he was named Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in 1983, as Secretary-General of the Cambodian National Peace Council. In 1985, he was posted as Cambodia’s Ambassador to India and, on his return to Cambodia in 1988, he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Then in 1991, he served as Deputy Minister of Interior and as Secretary General of the CPP-affiliated Supreme National Council for the national reconciliation and peace process in Cambodia. Following the general election organized by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) in 1993, he was elected to the National Assembly as a Member of Parliament for Takeo constituency and was assigned as Minister in charge of the government office of the Royal Government in the first legislature. Since 1998, he has been the Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers. Appointed as Senior Minister in 1998, he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Prime Minister in 2004. As Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, he has responsibility over a number of areas. He chaired the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia, a body created in 2003 with the support of the World Bank to reform and standardize the educational sector at graduate and post-graduate levels in Cambodia, as well as to initiate curriculum of the one-year foundation studies for university students. As Chairman of the Council of the Board of Engineers Cambodia he has led the organization through the current period of increasing prosperity in Cambodia. In late October 2012, the Council of the Board of ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organizations (AFEO) has conferred upon him the AFEO Distinguished Honorary Fellow. Dr. Sok An has been actively engaged in negotiations with neighboring countries to address border issues and the development of petroleum and gas resources in areas of joint control. He has also contributed his political intellect to finding solutions with other political parties and currents following various episodes of domestic political deadlock. He has also fulfilled many other important duties, such as the Chairman of the Council for Administrative Reform, Chairman of the Council for Demobilization of Armed Forces, Co-chairman of the Council for Legal and Judicial Reform, Chairman of the Cambodian National Commission for UNESCO, Chairman of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority (CNPA), Chairman of the Board of Royal School of Administration, Chairman of the Board of the Royal Academy for Judicial Professions, Deputy Chairman of the National Authority in charge of Border Affairs and Chairman of the Board of the Royal Academy of Cambodia and also team leader of academicians in the Royal Academy of Cambodia. He has been highly honored in recognition of his invaluable contributions to peace processes, international cooperation, and the development of Cambodia, and hence he conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Law in 1996 by Wesleyan College (Iowa, USA), an Honorary Doctorate of Public Administration in 2005 by Jeonju University (Republic of Korea) and selected to be a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences in 2002; an Honorary Doctorate of Political Sciences from the University of Cambodia in 2006; an Honorary Doctorate of Tourism Management from the National Economics University, Vietnam; an Honorary Doctorate of Public Policy and Management from Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology, Cambodia, in 2007; an Honorary Doctorate of Education from the National University of Philippines in 2008 and an Honorary Doctorate in Political Diplomacy from Woosuk University, Republic of Korea, in January 2010. His belief in Buddhism has led to contributions to constructing numerous Wats (pagodas) to promote Buddhism, and indeed, he himself was ordained as novice in 1965. He has also made major contributions to construction of schools, especially in his native Takeo province. His involvement with Cultural Heritage is long-standing and diverse: As President of the APSARA National Authority, the governmental body that manages the 40,000 hectares of the Park of Angkor inscribed on the World Heritage List, he has ensured the values that justified its inscription, and has preserved a balance between the needs of conservation and the necessities of development. During the past 20 years, with the help of and in coordination with the ICC-Angkor, the APSARA National Authority has received more than US$500 million in grants for the funding of some 70 projects from various countries and international communities. During this period, the APSARA Authority itself has carried out restoration projects at various temples including Bapuon, Bayon, Taprom, Banteay Srey, Takeo and Angkor Wat.
As head of the Delegation of Cambodia, during the 31st regular session of the World Heritage Committee in Christchurch in 2007, he has acquired considerable experience in both technical and personal terms through his active participation in the work of the Committee and through his relationships with his fellow Committee members. During the 31st regular session of the World Heritage Committee in Christchurch, in response to the presentation of the portfolio by the Cambodian delegation team led by the Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, the Committee recognized “that the Sacred Site of the Temple of Preah Vihear is of great international significance and has Outstanding Universal Value and agreed in principle that it should be inscribed on the World Heritage List” which led to its formal inscription by the Committee at its 32nd session in Canada in 2008. Dr. Sok An was also the Chairman of the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee which was held in Cambodia 2013. His personal interest to the Hague Convention of 1954 started in 2012. He ensured the ratification, by the Kingdom of Cambodia, of the Second Protocol of the Hague Convention, on 17 September 2013. Recently (1–3 September 2015), a Regional Seminar for ASEAN countries on the protection of the cultural properties in the event of armed conflicts was organized with his support and under his patronage.
In 1991, Dr. Sok An served as the Director of Cabinet of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) before being appointed as a member of the CPP’s central committee in July 1992, and he has been appointed as a standing committee member of the Cambodian People’s Party in January 1996. In July 2010, he was elected as Standing Committee member of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) Standing Committee at the 13th ICAPP Standing Committee meeting in Kunming, Yunnan province, China. In September 2014 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he was unanimously elected to the new position of Vice-President of the Standing Committee and then later in 2015, in Vladivostok, he was elected as the Chairman of the ICAPP Cultural Council. In 2013, during the 4th General Assembly of Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International (CAPDI) in Indonesia, he was named as Senior Vice President of CAPDI.