High praises for UN agencies and other international bodies
Fadley Faisal

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, on behalf of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, expressed deep satisfaction with the work of United Nations agencies and other international bodies in an address at the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

On this year's General Debate, HRH said it serves as an "opportunity to express our satisfaction and our concern about how successful the United Nations is managing the process of globalisation that we have nationally embraced".

"In other words, are we satisfied with things as they are? Or do we see a need for some 'adjustment'? In answering these questions, we would like to start by expressing considerable satisfaction with many aspects of the organisation's work," HRH said.

HRH further said the media constantly headlines the supposed defects, failures and setbacks of the United Nations.

"But, beneath all this, we observe an enormous contribution by the United Nations to the welfare of future generations. I would therefore like to express our deep satisfaction with the work of our United Nations agencies and international bodies. We believe they are providing us with the opportunity to move out of 19th Century colonialism and 20th century national interests."

HRH added that, in the spirit of the theme of the 67th Session of the General Assembly, "the United Nations agencies and international bodies are helping us to 'adjust' to 21st century regionalism and hopefully, successful globalism".

"I would therefore like to suggest three particular areas we find especially important. In each, we believe the United Nations is helping create a world in which the people it represents can look to a better future. One of hope rather than anguish, confidence instead of fear, and trust in the place of despair."

HRH also said the first of these is the difficult long-term work being done on sustainable development.

"We were impressed by the results of the Rio+20 Conference this June. It was built on 20 years of effort."

According to HRH, sustainable development is now far more than an academic topic. It is firmly part of the United Nations' long-term development agenda. Work has moved from theory into many practical ideas, projects and activities.

"The second area is covered in the report on the ongoing efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"We especially noted the following statements by the Secretary-General in his foreword which are the target of reducing extreme poverty by half has been reached five years ahead of the 2015 deadline; the target has been achieved on halving the proportion of people who lack dependable access to improved sources of drinking water; the conditions for more than 200 million people living in slums have been greatly improved; the primary school enrolment of girls has equalled that of boys; and there is accelerating progress in reducing child and maternal mortality," HRH said in the address.

"We are especially encouraged by his conclusion that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 is challenging but possible," HRH said.

HRH then said that the third area is the sum of the continued efforts of United Nations agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF and the FAO. They are operating in up to 150 countries. Their work is both wide-ranging and specific in its emphasis upon the basic components of everyday life for the people we represent.

"Success in these three areas mean that our children and grandchildren will live in a world where ordinary people and their families have a real chance to live together in hope and confidence. That is the reason for our satisfaction with the work of the United Nations as a global organisation," HRH said.

"In other words, in terms of the fundamental work of the United Nations, it is not necessary to undertake what the theme here describes as 'adjustment'." - Borneo Bulletin (29 September 2012)