ASEAN and the European Union’s (EU) strategic partnership should focus on current challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and deforestation which have contributed to the ongoing extreme weather patterns, loss of potable water, air pollution, and environmental degradation.
This was said by 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 during the plenary session of the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit at Europa Building in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday.
The monarch in a titah said both parties should make green transitions to ensure more sustainable growth and development. In relation to this, His Majesty welcomed cooperation through Green Initiative Programme in Southeast Asia and looked forward to working with the EU through the ASEAN Centre for Climate Change to be established in the Sultanate.
His Majesty also emphasised on the importance of transforming the world’s food systems to prevent wastage and loss, and highlighted the benefits of cooperation in the area due to EU’s experience in digital transformation and its advancement in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) such as the development and use of innovation in agriculture production, efficient distribution and storage system.
The monarch also highlighted that this year ASEAN and the EU are celebrating 45 years of dialogue relations and, as successful regional organisations, are natural partners to promote regional integration, peace and security.
Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.
Earlier, the royal entourage was greeted on arrival at Justus Lipsius, Europa Building by European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen.
His Majesty joined other leaders from ASEAN and the EU in the opening ceremony of the summit, which began with remarks from Michel and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen as event co-chairs.
This was followed by opening remarks from von der Leyen; Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr as country coordinator for ASEAN-EU; Prime Minister of Czech Republic (as EU Council Presidency) Petr Fiala; and Indonesian President Joko Widodo as ASEAN Chair in 2023.
After the ceremony, the monarch joined other ASEAN and EU leaders for a group photograph session.
His Majesty then attended the plenary session along with other ASEAN and EU leaders with discussions focussing on the direction of ASEAN-EU dialogue relations as well as regional and international issues of common concern.
At the end of the summit, a joint leaders’ statement of the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit was issued.
The monarch left Brussels after attending the summit.
A Doa Selamat was recited by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned prior to departure.