| Azlan Othman |
BRUNEI Darussalam realises that family is a crucial element in life and is at the forefront in supporting the community and the nation.
The family structure in this country mostly practices a traditional lifestyle where extended families including parents, children, grandparents and other relatives still live under one roof. It has shaped the family institutional system based on helping each other, where all members know their roles and responsibilities.
Such a system has strengthened the family institution in Brunei and contributes toward a stable and prosperous community.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, stressed that the family institution should always be made top priority, at the World Family Summit+10 that is taking place in Zhuhai, China, and is based on the theme, ‘Families In Balance: Building The Future We Want’.
The three-day summit is organised by the World Family Organization and the Ministry of National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China.
The national plan of action towards promoting, protecting and strengthening the family institution has been set up by a Women and Family Institution special committee under a National Council Against Social Issues. The plan of action focusses on several core issues such as maintaining a balance between work, finances, law, health and education with regard to family.
The plan of action is being implemented through projects and programmes with key performance indicators.
In recognising the roles played by the family institution, Brunei celebrates the first Sunday in the month of May as National Family Day annually since its inception in 2012 and involves many government agencies, the deputy minister stated.
Datin Paduka Hajah Adina then shared the country’s achievements in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In education, over 95 per cent of children enter primary school leading to literacy rates surging. In health, Brunei has been classified as a country that attained its MDG early due to the provision of free health services by the government.
As part of the effort to establish an equilibrium between family and work, Brunei has organised progammes and workshops on core issues such as parenting and communication skills, as well as time and financial management.
Vice-Premier of the State Council, China, Liu Yandong, also presented her keynote address at the summit which was attended by over 300 representatives from 67 countries.
Besides discussing topics relating to the theme, the summit also discussed the post-2015 Global Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and celebrated the 20th anniversary of International Family Day and the 10th anniversary of the World Family Summit.
Towards enhancing the commitment of all parties, the summit also witnessed the ‘Zhuhai Declaration’ which stresses several family-related issues.