By Azlan Othman
His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade noted that the 21st century has certainly brought exciting new opportunities to our region although it is also presenting many grave new challenges.
The statement was made in commemoration of the Asean Day which falls on 8th Aug 2009. His Royal Highness added that some of these test our own resources, commitment and expertise. Others are too big for a regional association alone. They test the whole world.
This year's Asean anniversary theme does both. It asks us to promote the central idea of a 'Green Asean' and it speaks to us directly.
It calls on us to accept its demands, act accordingly and set an example in our own region. It requires us to work closely with our international partners on problems that question almost everything about our way of living. It invites us to acknowledge our regional, national and even personal responsibilities.
It also reminds us that time is short. It urges us to do much more than recite the words, "Climate Change", "Energy Crisis", "Food Crisis, "Economic Crisis", "Pandemics" and so forth. It tells us to take action. In short, it summons up the spirit of our new Charter.
In Brunei Darussalam, we hear this message and we send our warmest anniversary greetings to all our fellow Asean members. We look forward to working with them to make the people of Southeast Asia truly proud of their region.
- Borneo Bulletin
(8th August 2009)