Security challenges must be jointly addressed

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah said that continued progress between ASEAN and the United Nations (UN) will depend on a region that is peaceful and stable, and therefore it is important to address together the security challenges, such as transnational crimes, violent extremism and terrorism.

The titah was delivered at the 11th ASEAN-United Nations Summit yesterday, during which the monarch acknowledged that efforts have been made to complement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ASEAN’s Community Vision 2025, encouraging further efforts to identify measures that better care for the people and prepare them for future challenges.

His Majesty also encouraged ASEAN and the UN to work together through the UN Alliance of Civilizations to uphold a culture of peace and dialogue, and to deepen trust and understanding, in response to the rise of racial and religious intolerance.

The titah was broadcast virtually from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman, where His Majesty congratulated UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the 75th anniversary of the UN, and commended the UN’s success and the World Health Organization (WHO) in leading the global response against the COVID-19 pandemic, while expressing support to the UN in this regard.

Meanwhile, Guterres called for ASEAN leadership and resolve to safeguard shared goals of ASEAN and the UN in the face of global threats to sustainable development, including rising geopolitical tensions, poverty and inequality.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam delivers the titah. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

The UN also commended ASEAN’s swift action and response to the pandemic, and appreciated ASEAN’s recommendation for the COVID-19 vaccine to be a global public good. On the environment, the UN asked all ASEAN member states to transition to net zero carbon, and reiterated the need for robust action to reverse climate change impacts.

Earlier, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyn Xuân Phúc, as the ASEAN Chairman for 2020, highlighted that ASEAN is at the centre of harmonising actions with the UN in maintaining peace and promoting sustainable development through the ASEAN Charter. In this regard, ASEAN’s Centrality emphasises fostering dialogue and cooperation through UN-led efforts towards achieving peace, stability and development in the region.

Amidst unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam hoped that discussions during the Summit will bolster ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership, contributing to the sustainable recovery of both sides, as well as the region.

The Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, as the country coordinator of ASEAN-UN Relations also delivered the ASEAN Common Statement. ASEAN welcomed the UN’s commitment towards peace and reconciliation through the common vision in upholding international law and a multilateral, rules-based international order.

ASEAN also appreciated the support of UN sectoral bodies under the UN Development Programme in assisting ASEAN member states mitigate adverse socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.

It is hoped that future cooperation between ASEAN and the UN will, among others, narrow development gaps; promote equal and inclusive growth as well as social equality; mitigate climate change and natural disaster impacts; and empower women.

At the summit, held between ASEAN leaders and ASEAN dialogue partners, the leaders touched on UN achievements that have been beneficial to many countries in enduring peace, security and stability in all corners of the world; and the collective responsibility of the UN and ASEAN to restore multilateralism towards better preparedness in addressing COVID-19, as well as future pandemics.

The leaders also called for UN support in sharing best practices and experiences towards enhancing ASEAN capacity in tackling hostilities in sustaining regional and global peacekeeping, addressing climate change, and ensuring preparedness for natural disasters.