Prince calls for continued commitment to OIC's programme
By Waleed PD Mahdini in Kuala Lumpur

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tuesday morning attended the 37th Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Foreign Ministers Meeting at Somon Palace, Republic of Tajikistan, a press release stated.

The meeting was opened by Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Al-Moualim, Chairman of the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Meeting, following which Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan was elected Chairman for the coming year. This was followed by a keynote address by Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan.

His Royal Highness delivered a statement during the General Debate session, in which he highlighted the importance of continued commitment to the Ten-Year Programme. His Royal Highness in the evening, attended a reception hosted by President Emomali Rahmon in honour of all visiting ministers and delegation.

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, and Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah left Dushanbe yesterday.

The following is a statement of His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam, during the 37th Council of Foreign Ministers in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan.

"It is a great pleasure to be here in the heart of Central Asia and my warmest thanks to the Government and People of Tajikistan for their welcome. My appreciation also to His Excellency Walid Al-Moualim for his chairmanship over the past year and to you, personally Mr Chairman, for your excellent arrangements and very kind hospitality.

"I would also especially like to congratulate President Rahmon for his warm welcome and his most inspiring keynote address. I think it comes at a very important moment for our organisation by this, of course, I mean we are half-way through our ten-year action plan and that's why I like the theme for this meeting especially its central ideas "security and prosperity." These are what we have been aiming at since 2005. So it's obviously a good time now at this half-way stage to look at progress. And that's briefly what I would like to do here.

"Can I, first of all, thank the Secretary-General and the Secretariat. They have given us a list of the steps they've taken so far a very long list, in fact over 60 of them and it makes a very impressive record. It certainly shows that the OIC is determined to make a real difference to our people's lives. So, again, thank you very much, Secretary-General and my congratulations to everyone involved.

"I think the work can be summed up in two broad groups. Some are administrative providing us with a strong modern infrastructure and others have been practical and aimed at improving the welfare of our people in many vital areas.

"Together I think they send out a very important message. It's from our organisation to the rest of the world. It tells everyone very clearly what the OIC stands for. And this is respect, goodwill and working peacefully with all people.

"It also gives a lot of encouragement to our own people. It says that we are helping them meet all the great modern challenges and meet them well and have confidence in the future.

"As I say, Mr Chairman, I think those are very important overall messages. They go to the heart of security and prosperity and I hope we can keep delivering them in the second half of our Ten-Year Plan.

"At the same time, they also send out another message. And this one is more specific. It goes all the way back to the OIC's founding purpose and it's a reminder to the international community.

"It says that the OIC is indeed working hard to build security and prosperity. But it adds as firmly as ever that this must include security and prosperity for the people of Palestine in their long struggle for peace, happiness and justice. It reminds the world that our people will accept nothing less.

"Looking at our Ten-Year Plan in this way I believe a great deal has been achieved so far. Of course there is still a lot to be done and, like any plan there will be disappointments as well as successes along the way.

"But, when it is completed I believe it will help to make globalisation work well for our people. It will mean they can be more than just a part of the modern world. They will be well-equipped in their own right to contribute the richness of our faith and the strength of our values to making the world a better place for everyone. Thank you." - Borneo Bulletin (20th May 2010)