Women Top Borneo Global Issues
By Rokiah Mahmud

any girls and women today still do not have proper access to basic education, gainful employment and proper healthcare, Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman stated at the opening ceremony of The ISB Borneo Global Issues Conference IX (ISB BGIC IX) at the International Convention Centre in Berakas yesterday.

Her Royal Highness, the Royal Patron of the conference, was greeted on arrival at the ICC by Datin Hjh Adina binti Othman, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and Mr David G Taylor MBE, the Executive Principal of International School Brunei.

HRH in her sabda said that, here in Brunei Darussalam, regardless of gender, access to all levels of education and healthcare is provided to all of the nation's youth by the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. Recently the Sultanate has also witnessed the historic appointments of Brunei Darussalam's first woman Attorney General and first woman Deputy Minister, HRH said.

Over 300 local students and some foreign delegates representing Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are participating in the four-day conference, which this year carries the theme, "Women in the 21st Century".

Among the objectives of ISB BGIC is to encourage mutual understanding and international cooperation in steering youth on the path towards becoming more responsible and caring global citizens.

Participating students will also be put to the test in terms of their communication skills and their ability to present their arguments and counter-arguments. In addition, the conference also serves as a platform for participants to work in cooperation with each other and make new friends, while at the same time enabling them to set up a regional network of friendship that helps to bring the peoples across the region closer together.

With this year's theme being centered on women's issues, the ultimate goal of the conference is to recognise the centrality of gender equality, women's empowerment and the rights of women to participate in and enjoy economic and social development.

Throughout the conference, participating students will debate various topics in a mock-simulation of UN proceedings in four main debating motions: Socio-Economic Affairs, Human Rights, Politics and the Environment.

At the event, HRH also consented to present tokens of appreciation to various main local sponsors and supporters for their part in helping ensure the smooth running of the conference. - Borneo Bulletin (13th March 2011)