Global crisis requires approach shift: HRH

National 2 minutes, 19 seconds


HIS Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, on Saturday stressed the need for effective responses to global crisis and called for a directional change in the approach to international affairs.

Addressing the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, HRH said that, for the time being, "it was not up to us to decide whether our work is successful or not; that is up to the next generation."

He said: "Future generations could decide whether our responses to problems had been effective. That was the way it had always been. With hindsight, the United Nations had reacted very effectively over the past 25 years, since Brunei Darussalam had first joined the Organisation."

HRH said although things were much better today than they had been 25 years ago, many of the world's old problems still persisted, namely terrorism, poverty, disease, war and the 60-year-long struggle of the Palestinian people. He recognised the United Nations proposals for reforms, change and development, and said embracing those would change the direction of world affairs. That, he said, was what people expected of member states.

No one, he stressed, wanted to maintain the schisms between developed and developing countries. Instead, they preferred to exist in one world that sought solutions to challenges. The G-20 meeting in April had given States the choice either to stick to old habits dating back to 1946, or to work together towards change, regardless of their cultural and religious differences. He added that the state of the environment, the global economy, energy and food supplies had also sent a message for countries to bring about changes.

"The big decisions had already been made for us," he said, although that did not prevent States from taking them a step further. Otherwise, he cautioned, those changes would fall into the hands of forces outside the grasp of countries, rendering their delayed responses ineffective. Thus, he warned, the next generation might look back and judge, or worse, condemn, the international community.

Prior to the meeting, His Royal Highness also attended the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (IAMM) with the President of the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The meeting saw a recommendation on the Declaration on the Inauguration of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) from participating ministers, subjected to approval by ASEAN Summit Leaders.

Preparations for the ASEAN Summit which is scheduled to be held in October Cha-Am, Thailand, were also discussed by the ministers.

His Royal Highness also held bilateral meeting with the Jordan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh, and Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). (AFH1& AFS1)

The Brunei Times