Princess Masna calls for unity at NAM meeting

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, the Ambassador-at-Large at Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, called on member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement to remain united and strongly committed to the Bandung Principles as they cherished for a world where peace, justice and friendship prevailed.

HRH made the call in her statement during the second day of the General Debate of the VX Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Like other members of the movement, HRH stated that Brunei Darussalam was standing firmly by these principles.

HRH also believed that these principles were reflected in the theme of the conference, "Solidarity for Peace, Justice & Friendship", and considered that the theme provided members with a focus and a common direction as members exchanged views on issues of interest to the movement.

HRH saw an increasingly inter-dependent world where economic globalisation deepened while science and technology were rapidly advancing. To HRH, this posed both opportunities and challenges for members of the movement to develop their economies and improve the people's standard of living.

HRH further noted that despite global efforts, members of the movement continued to face a wide spectrum of problems such as unresolved conflicts, poverty and underdevelopment, and climate change.

The current global food and energy crises posed a multi-dimensional challenge to the well-being of the people, national efforts for sustainable development and full attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

HRH was concerned that for many of the members, economic development and nation-building remained to be an uphill task. HRH hence saw the need for members to further consolidate their efforts, and to work together in unison in order to capitalise on the opportunities and rise above the challenges. HRH also felt that members ought to actively engage the developed partners.

In this regard, HRH appreciated the efforts made by Cuba the current Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement in conveying the movement's views to the Group of Eight Summit in Japan recently.

HRH added that the ongoing linkage with the developed economies served as a valuable way to put across views and positions of the movement.

HRH further stated that as the movement continued to face the many challenges, it was sad to note that it was in Palestine where peace and justice were long over due. HRH reiterated Brunei's unwavering support for the Palestinians and the willingness of the country to continue to help them in whatever way it could.

HRH further reiterated Brunei's support of all efforts made by the international community to address the current situation in Palestine and to realise the establishment of a sovereign and independent State of Palestine.

HRH also expressed that Brunei strongly believed in peaceful coexistence between and among states which could only be achieved through mutual understanding, tolerance and friendly relations. HRH saw the importance of promoting respect for cultural diversity.

In acknowledging the progress made by the movement, HRH appreciated the work done thus far to strengthen the movement's mechanism to exchange views and assist each other as demonstrated by adoption of the three-year Plan of Action by the leaders of the movement in Havana in 2006.

HRH stated that this signalled a more action-oriented movement and would provide the movements' leaders with a systematic way of reviewing its progress when they meet in Egypt next year. - Borneo Bulletin (31st July 2008)