His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah at the 43rd ASEAN Summit plenary session said that ASEAN needs to remain focused on strengthening cooperation to make ASEAN the centre of economic growth and social development.
“ASEAN is in a favourable position for continued growth, as the region is projected to grow by 4.6 per cent in 2023, surpassing the global growth projection of 3 per cent. However, escalating geopolitical tensions pose potential risks to economic recovery,” highlighted the monarch.
To this end, His Majesty underscored the need to embrace new ideas that contribute to the long-term competitiveness and resilience within the region.
Despite facing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN has continued to leverage on advancements in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In this regard, His Majesty welcomed the proposal to establish an ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement, which will provide a strong foundation for a secure and interconnected ASEAN digital economy therefore bringing more opportunities and confidence to the region.
Touching on climate change, His Majesty highlighted that it remains a global challenge that requires urgent collective action as devastating forest fires, haze incidents, and extreme weather events have resulted in significant economic and financial losses.
Therefore, His Majesty expressed pleasure with the signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Climate Change to be hosted in Bandar Seri Begawan and expressed appreciation to ASEAN colleagues for their support.
“The ASEAN Centre for Climate Change will not only showcase leading-edge technologies but will also develop strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, through research analysis along with innovative solutions and policy recommendations, ensuring the region’s resilience in addressing climate change,” added the sultan.
In concluding the titah, His Majesty extended full support to His Excellency Sonexay Siphandone, Prime Minister of Lao People’s Democratic Republic as the country takes over the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2024 and expressed appreciation to His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia for his excellent Chairmanship of ASEAN throughout this year.
Moreover, at the Plenary Session, His Majesty in a titah welcomed His Excellency Hun Manet, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the Summit.
Prior, His Excellency Joko Widodo in a speech, underscored the importance of maintaining ASEAN’s unity and Centrality, in ensuring the region remains peaceful and stable.
The plenary session included presentations on global economic developments by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The Leaders underlined the need for ASEAN to be adaptive, responsive and forward-looking, and able to anticipate opportunities and address emerging challenges and future shocks towards making ASEAN an epicentrum of growth.
At the end of the Summit, the ASEAN Concord IV; ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue; ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on ASEAN as an Epicentrum of Growth; ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Disability Inclusive Development for a Resilient and Prosperous ASEAN Community; ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Response to Crisis; ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Development of the Digital Economy Framework Agreement; ASEAN Declaration on Early Childhood Care and Education in Southeast Asia; ASEAN Declaration on Gender Equality and Family Development; ASEAN Declaration on Sustainable Resilience; ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to the 28th Session of Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP-28) and the ASEAN Blue Economy Framework were adopted.
OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 43RD ASEAN SUMMIT
Prior to the plenary session, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam attended the opening ceremony of the 43rd ASEAN Summit held at the Jakarta Convention Centre, Republic of Indonesia.
Accompanying His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.
The arrival of His Majesty was welcomed by His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia and spouse, Ibu Hajah Iriana Widodo.
The ceremony was also attended by other ASEAN Heads of State and Government as well as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Cook Islands.
It was followed by the ASEAN anthem, “The ASEAN Way” and opening remarks from the President of the Republic of Indonesia as Chairman of ASEAN this year, in which he welcomed all leaders and delegates attending the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Jakarta.
In a presentation ceremony for the ASEAN Prize, Bruneian youth leader Haji Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri Haji Damit received the ASEAN Prize 2022, for his active leadership in youth movement and volunteerism, especially in mobilising assistance for displaced persons. Meanwhile, Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, the recipient of the ASEAN Prize 2023, was also presented with the ASEAN Prize.
During the ceremony, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control was launched, followed by a video presentation on the centre.
His Majesty’s attendance at the ASEAN Summits in Jakarta this year, among other things, demonstrates His Majesty’s close friendship with the other leaders. It also provides an excellent opportunity to continue discussions on advancing ASEAN community-building efforts, as well as strengthen cooperation with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN