Friday, April 24, 2015

HM Sultan Brunei Concerned over Palestinian plight at 60th Asia-Africa Conference


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bokiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, delivering a titah during the plenary session of the Asian African Summit 2015 at the Jakarta Convention Center yesterday. Infofoto
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (L) waves to journalists and other onlookers upon his arrival at the Jakarta Convention Center to attend the Asian African Summit yesterday. BT/Sally Piri

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (R, front row) attending the Asian African Summit 2015 and the 60th Asia-Africa Commemorative Conference at Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday. Infofoto

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah (R) chats with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) as Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (2nd R) look on during a photo session on the sidelines of the Asian African Summit 2015 at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia’s capital yesterday. Infofoto

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (L) is being greeted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife prior to a Gala Dinner for Heads of States and Government attending the Asian Africa Summit 2015 at the Merdeka Palase in Jakarta last night. Infofoto

SALLY PIRI
JAKARTA

Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE two-day Asian African Summit 2015 began yesterday in Jakarta, where 21 heads of state/government and delegates from 106 countries, 15 observer countries and 10 international organisations gathered to forge closer ties and find solutions to resolve the current challenges facing by the two continents.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, was among the 21 heads of state/government who had flown in to the Indone-sia’s capital to attend the Leaders’ Summit of the 60th Commemoration of the Asian African Conference 2015.

Other leaders include Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Iran’s President Dr Hassan Rouhani, China’s President Xi Jinping and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. They were welcomed by Indonesia’s President Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo, who is the host of a series of events for this year’s commemoration, held at the Jakarta Convention Center.

In his welcoming speech, President Widodo said that the challenges and struggle faced by the Asian and African nations are not yet resolved.

Under the theme “Strengthen-ing South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prospe-rity”, the president drew the focus to those present to the plight of the Palestinians and the need for a new collective economic structure to support the struggle for stability and equality through-out the two continents.

“For me, the global injustice feels more suffocating, when the “Bandung Spirit” that demanded freedom for all nations of Asia and Africa, still left one outstanding debt for six decades. We, and the world, still owe it to the Palestinian people,” said Widodo.

“The world is helpless before the suffering of the Palestinians, who live in fear and injustice, due to years of occupation,” he said.

“We cannot turn away from the misery of the Palestinians and have to continue to fight with them to support the birth of a free Palestine,” he added.

The first Asian-African Conference in 1955 at Bandung created the “Bandung Spirit”, which called on then new nations to build solidarity and friendship as well recognise their mission to fight colonialism.

The leaders and delegates shared experience to strengthen partnerships and discuss strate-gies to overcome common challenges and boost economic development in both continents through stronger South-South cooperation.

During the first plenary session, Dr Rouhani of Iran when delivered his views said that continued crisis and conflicts which have been intensified with foreign military intervention have created humanitarian catastrophe in the crisis-hit areas.

The present unfortunate conditions in Yemen and Syria are clear examples of this situation. “We believe that sustainable peace can prevail if military intervention is ceased and proper conditions are prepared for talks and dialogue among all political groups,” he said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, ”We must build a market that is open and dynamic. We must turn that market or that frontier into soil that promises pros-perity for our children and our grandchildren.”

In between several plenary sessions, some leaders and delegates also attended bilateral meetings with their counterparts.

Later in the evening, His Majesty and other leaders attended the Gala Dinner for Heads of State and Government attending the Asian African Summit 2015 hosted by the Indonesia’s President at Merdeka Palace.

Accompanying His Majesty was Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of the Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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SALLY PIRI
JAKARTA

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BRUNEI Darussalam expressed deep concern that the plight of the Palestinians remains unresolved and that they continue to be victims of Israeli aggression and military occupation.

This was said by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in his titah during the plenary session of the Asian African Summit 2015 at Jakarta Convention Centre yesterday.

The monarch spoke after Mswati III, King of Swaziland, and before Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Co-chairing the first plenary session were Indonesia’s President Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

His Majesty and other leaders supported the Declaration on Palestine, which is one of the three documents that will be issued at the end of this year’s Asia Africa Conference.

He said the Summit has provided member countries with a unique opportunity to share their noble aspirations for a future that includes the aspirations of their Palestinian brothers and sisters.

“I am pleased to support the Declaration on Palestine,” the monarch told the audience.

His Majesty said that member countries have seen several positive events in recent years, especially the overwhelming recognition of Palestine’s statehood and the elevation of their status in the international arena.

His Majesty hopes that together with all member countries, they will continue to support the Palestinians in their noble struggle to realise their rights to self- determination, dignity and independence.

His Majesty stated that in the years ahead, he would like to see the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) mature into an exemplary platform for inter-regional cooperation that will strengthen people-to-people connectivity.

He called upon member countries not to lose focus on achieving the goals that were declared at the Millennium Summit in 2000. He was referring to the Summit held in September 2000 when the world leaders came together at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals.

He said that he is also optimistic that the vision back then will be renewed and expanded in the coming Post-2015 Development Agenda.

He said that the Asian-African member countries account for more than half of the UN membership and with a population of over five billion people, a global community that is capable of great good, and that can certainly contribute to the wider objectives of the global development agenda.

The Summit has come a long way since the Bandung Conference of 1955, he added.

Since then, he said, the world has undergone much change and has witnessed the rise and fall of nations, as well as historical events such as the end of the Cold War. “Today, there has been much progress in terms of human development and more people-centred multilateral efforts to promote socio-economic growth around the world,” His Majesty said.

He also expressed his pleasure that the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) serves as a bridge of goodwill and friendship that covers political solidarity, economic cooperation and socio-cultural relations.

The partnership is about giving the people of member countries a better life. All member countries continue to emphasise areas such as trade, industry, investment and tourism. “At the same time, there is importance in promoting human development through capacity-building and technical cooperation.”

His Majesty stated that while member countries endeavour to pursue the objectives of sustainable development, peace and prosperity, they are also vulnerable to challenges such as pandemic diseases, economic crises, natural disasters, climate change and terrorism.

In this regard, the NAASP provides another multilateral platform to pursue goals as well as address challenges, he said.

In a way, member countries are striving towards realising the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Therefore, the Summit was very timely in strengthening collective actions as they prepare for the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda.

His Majesty was pleased that the aforementioned three outcome documents have reflected the Spirit and Principles of Bandung, which will continue to guide the future work and interaction amongst member countries.

His Majesty stated that when the actions of member countries are driven by principles such as mutual interest and cooperation based on equality and respect for each other, he believes that member countries will achieve the desired goals that they have set.

Member countries, according to him, should nurture their partnerships based on these principles, whether in the context of South-South or North-South Cooperation, as well as in collaborating with development partners and other stakeholders.

His Majesty said that for Brunei Darussalam, its approach is inclusive and the areas of emphasis include education, good governance, disaster management, trade and investment, health and the environment.

“Brunei Darussalam will continue to cooperate with other member countries within its means and capability,” he said.

He also encouraged people-to-people interactions, particularly in the fields of business, education, youth and sports.

“Brunei Darussalam welcomes cooperation among core educational institutions through exchanges between students, academics and researchers.”

In closing the titah, His Majesty praised that Indonesia has always been a great champion for South-South Cooperation and the Strategic Partnership.

On this, he appreciated their valuable efforts and looked forward to the next event which is the 60th Asian African Conference Commemoration in Bandung on Friday to build on the work of the founding fathers for a peaceful and prosperous future together.

The gathering of representatives of over 100 countries from Asia and Africa at the Summit demonstrated continued support of member countries in strengthening South-South Cooperation towards promoting world peace and prosperity.

Prior to the plenary session, each of the leaders was greeted by the Indonesia’s President. It was then followed by a group photo session at the Main Lobby of the Jakarta Convention Center before proceeding to the Plenary Hall for the opening ceremony of the Asian-African Summit 2015. The ceremony also saw Dato Laila Utama Joko Widodo delivering his welcoming address.

Accompanying His Majesty were Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abd Rahman Haji Ibrahim, Second Minister of Finance at the Prime Minister’s Office; Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of the Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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