HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to attend the 2nd Asean-US Summit with Heads of State and Government of Asean and Barack Obama, President of the United States of America.
Before the summit began, His Majesty consented to join other Heads of State and Government of Asean and the President of the United States of America for a group photo session.
His Majesty delivered a titah and said the meeting with Obama reflects serious engagement between Asean and the United States based on the strong commitment for peace, prosperity and security in the Southeast Asian region. His Majesty welcomed the progress that Asean and the United States have achieved so far in the many areas of cooperation and appreciated the continued support of the US in Asean’s community building efforts.
His Majesty stated that as the largest economy in the world, the United States continues to be one of Asean’s most important trading partners. Asean’s trade, added His Majesty, in 2013 increased by four per cent from the previous year to US$207 billion. Building on this positive momentum, Asean and US need to identify new activities that will contribute further to the two-way trade and investment.
His Majesty also stated that Brunei Darussalam is very pleased to be working with the United States on education particularly through the English Language Enrichment Programme. This has contributed to the building up of Brunei people’s capacity and narrowing the development gap, particularly for the youth, which is in line with Brunei’s focus to develop the youth as the country prepares them for the future. In this regard, Brunei appreciates the US’ support in developing Brunei’s youth especially, under the youth leaders’ initiatives and the Fulbright Scholarship programme.
His Majesty is confident that the Asean-US partnership can be further enhanced over the coming years and contribute in all areas of mutual interest, including the rising security challenges affecting people.
His Majesty then stated that many of the points that were raised in the East Asia Summit on the Ebola outbreak, terrorism and climate change are very relevant and highlights the many possibilities for further close cooperation not only within the framework of Asean-US partnership but also in other Asean-led mechanisms.
His Majesty added that Brunei shares the deep concern of many countries on the increasing violence and brutality by terrorist groups. His Majesty believes that the root causes of terrorism and extremism should be addressed in a comprehensive manner, through more information-sharing and capacity-building between enforcement agencies at the regional and international level.
Also touched in His Majesty’s titah was the issue of climate change which Brunei believe is a global problem that has deep repercussions on many aspects of the people’s lives. His Majesty is pleased to support the adoption of the Joint Statement on this very important issue.
His Majesty added that Brunei has embarked on various initiatives such as the Heart of Borneo to preserve the environment and biodiversity as well as address climate change. At the end of the titah, His Majesty encouraged the US and other international partners to continue working together with Brunei.
During the summit, Heads of State and Government of Asean as well as the US discussed matters related to the future direction of the relationship and cooperation between Asean member states and the US. After the summit, His Majesty proceeded for a luncheon with other leaders. Accompanying His Majesty were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office and Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II.