Brunei pledges full support to the UN
By Narissa Noor

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office addressed the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday afternoon, during the General Debate held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, declaring Brunei's full support to the world organisation.

"We will support all (UN) efforts to address political, economic and social concerns (and) help with recovery from natural disasters," said the Crown Prince.

"We will join fellow members in protecting not only the environment but also cultures of small societies like our own... and respect the values of the various faiths held by the people this organisation represents."

In his statement, the Crown Prince outlined the various areas in which Brunei has offered its full support, including the UN role in establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

His Royal Highness also stated the need to jointly address the challenges of climate change, citing Brunei's own Heart of Borneo Initiative with Malaysia and Indonesia to "conserve the priceless heritage of the rainforests of Borneo by placing over half of our territory under environmental protection".

The Crown Prince expressed the country's acknowledgement by agencies like WHO and UNESCO whose work have been influential to the Brunei people.

"We especially support UNESCO's commitment to the process of dialogue and negotiation as the only lasting means of resolving confrontation no matter how painstaking the process may be at times," His Royal Highness stated.

His Royal Highness also highlighted the role that the new generation of leaders offer their people in providing hope for the future, asking the United Nations to provide them with the chance to deliver this hope.

"Our people must be able to participate in full and the new generation of leaders must have the chance to help them do that," said the Crown Prince, referring to a need for progress in the 21st century.

"We have to provide this confidence... that comes from education, modern training, health care and the knowledge that their culture, values and faith are safe."

Earlier that day, the Crown Prince took part in a roundtable discussion on Education and Health for the High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals.

Brunei Darussalam will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its membership in the United Nations in September next year.

His Royal Highness arrived in New York, Monday, to attend the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, accompanied by Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah and Prince Abdul Qawi. - Borneo Bulletin (27th Sept 2008)