News Release

Cambodian Dignitaries Attend  Inaugural Alumni Reunion Dinner in Phnom Penh

Past dignitary delegates to the Brigham Young University International Law & Religion Symposium were honored for their participation and important contribution to the discussion and implementation of timely principles as they relate to and impact society.

In the fall of 2016, Cambodian dignitaries, Her Excellency Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs and her husband, His Excellency Vice Governor of Phnom Penh, Trac Thai Sieng, accepted an invitation to travel to Utah, as guests of the Brigham Young University’s International Center for Law and Religion, and there participated in the 23rd anniversary of the Annual Symposium along with 95 other delegates from 45 countries around the world.


Proudly, the country of Cambodia has been represented with dignitary delegates dating back to the year 2001, all of whom participated with opinion leaders from across the globe, and in all walks of life, for the purpose of discussing the importance and implementation of timely principles as they relate to and impact societies worldwide.

The Cambodia National Public Affairs Council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently planned and hosted the “Inaugural Alumni Reunion Dinner," held to recognize these government officials who have contributed, over the years, to this important worldwide dialogue.


The gathering was held at the elegant Sofitel Hotel, Phnom Penh, and brought together several of these alumni luminaries.  In addition, Elder Randy D. Funk, President of the Asia Area of the Church, traveled from Hong Kong to attend. He was accompanied by his wife, Sister Andrea Funk, and Annie Wong, Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the Asia Area. President Funk is seen here greeting Mr. Chem Chhat, Department Chair for Administration of Ministry of Cults and Religion, who has the distinction of being the first opinion leader from Cambodia to attend the Symposium back in 2001.

Reminiscing valued friendships, while enjoying the delicious fare, provided a memorable evening of pelasant conversation and fellowship. After dinner, a short video was shown highlighting the activities attendees enjoy as part of the Symposium each year.

Her Excellency. Dr. Phavi, and Vice Governor Trac, being the most recent participants, were invited to share brief remarks concerning both their experiences and impressions of their time spent there.


“The campus experience was remarkable,” recounted Vice Governor Trac. “It is very peaceful and the surroundings are beautiful set beneath the majestic mountains. We were especially impressed with the cleanliness of the cities and the warmth of the people. Everyone was so friendly and wherever we went we were treated like family.”

Her Excellency, Dr. Phavi shared similar feelings adding, “Until our visit to the State of Utah, we had no idea of its beauty. We were particularly impressed with all the youth; their principles and character.  We were extremely pleased to learn of the important priority placed on families.” She later requested and received a framed copy of “Family, The Proclamation to the World."

The evening came to a close with a brief tribute to His Excellency, Min Khin, Senior Minister of Cults and Religion for many years, and a great friend to the Church, who succumbed to cancer several months ago, and who also previously attended the Symposium representing Cambodia.  His widow, and advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia, Her Excellency. Nguon Thuon, as well as his daughter, Her Excellency, Min Chandyneth, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Cults and Religion, were alumni guests and expressed heartfelt gratitude for the remembrance.

Before leaving, the alumni were invited to the stage to be recognized, and to receive a token of appreciation and remembrance, from the Public Affairs Council of their representation for Cambodia. All expressed gratitude for the inaugural event, and the time spent together in friendship.


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