BRUNEI Darussalam stands united with the international community in combating terrorism in all its forms and rejects extremism.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said this in a titah as the monarch addressed the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, yesterday.
“Whilst there is relative peace and stability in the world, developments over the past year have reminded us how complex security issues, turmoil and instability arising from human activities can hinder progress for long-term development.
“We are gravely concerned with security developments in many parts of the world where further escalation of conflicts can weaken the international community’s resolve and ability to achieve our world-wide initiatives,” His Majesty said.
The monarch pointed out that Brunei Darussalam, for its part, has participated in UN peacekeeping, specifically UNIFIL, and other international peace monitoring missions in the southern Philippines.
“We remain committed to such endeavours.
“The overall outlook is further complicated by challenges that are global in nature such as the impact of climate change, extremism and terrorism as well as the serious repercussions of pandemic diseases,” said His Majesty.
“We support all regional and international efforts in countering terrorism.
“And we will continue to participate in global initiatives such as inter-faith dialogues and dialogues amongst civilisations to promote understanding, tolerance and respect amongst world communities,” His Majesty added.
The monarch also highlighted how potential escalation of disputes and threats to international peace and security have resulted in appalling human tragedies and cited the downing of flight MH 17 and the current dire situation in Gaza as examples.
“Although prospects of all- out war seem remote nowadays, instances of worsening situations, skirmishes and brinkmanship have shown us too well how the threat of conflict and violence remains an obstacle to our long-term aspirations for a better world.
“On Palestine, freedom and justice is long overdue.
“The endless suffering experi-enced by our Palestinian brothers and sisters is a stark example of how little our development goals mean if there is no peace and stability.
“They must be granted their basic rights to live in dignity and enjoy economic development.
“We are encouraged by the observance of the current ceasefire by the parties involved. I much appreciate the efforts of many countries, which have made this possible,” His Majesty said.
Earlier, speaking about fast approaching targeted timeline of the Millennium Development Goals, His Majesty said, “We in Brunei Darussalam are pleased to see concerted global commitment and consensus to eradicate extreme poverty and further promote peace and sustainable development. For some time now, Brunei Darussalam has been actively contributing to regional and international efforts in training and capacity building such as through the ‘Initiative for Asean Integration’ and an ‘English Enrichment Programme for Asean’ in collaboration with the United States.”
The monarch welcomed the future direction that emphasises the importance of human development, “one which is inclusive, people-centred and sustainable”.
“These elements are also integral to Brunei Darussalam’s National Vision 2035 which is dedicated to improving the welfare of our people and attaining a high quality of life.
“I am also pleased that there is unanimous conviction on the importance of protecting the environment. In this regard, I much value the convening of the UN Climate Summit in galvanising support to address the impact of climate change and in ensuring a dynamic and transformative post-2015 development agenda,” said His Majesty.
The Sultan also called upon all nations to take concerted action in resolving the wide-ranging problems further aggravated by the rapid pace of globalisation and inter-connectedness.
“In securing the positive aspects of globalisation, it requires our community of nations to work closely together. We must renew our approach, governance and strengthen cooperation especially in resolving new issues, which require collective global action and unity of purpose.
“I wish to emphasise on the need to work in a comprehensive manner, especially in guaranteeing peace and security. The quality of life of our people can only be further enhanced through inclusive economic development as well as social progress.
“With reckless human activities continuing unabated, the repercussions of environmental degradation would surely impact negatively on overall development. These are areas which demand renewed commitment, partnership and creativity within our global community.
“I also would like to unde-rscore the importance of strengthening our capabilities in disaster management. This is owing to the frequent recurrence and greater intensity of natural disasters in recent years. They have caused destruction and hardship to many people,” said His Majesty.
The monarch put it succinctly how peace and stability could be achieved by saying, “The fundamental principle of mutual respect, trust and confidence, putting aside differences, upholding the rule of law and justice and promoting cooperation should serve as the basis in resolving conflicts to enable us to enjoy continued peace and stability.
“In the same spirit, it is also imperative that we are resolute in overcoming our differences and move forward in further opening up global trade.”