HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
PRINCE HAJI AL-MUHTADEE BILLAH
IBNI HIS MAJESTY SULTAN HAJI HASSANAL BOLKIAH
THE CROWN PRINCE AND SENIOR MINISTER
AT THE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE OF
AT THE 67TH SESSION OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 27 SEPTEMBER 2012
"BRINGING ABOUT ADJUSTMENT OR SETTTLEMENT OF
INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES OR SITUATIONS
BY PEACEFUL MEANS"
On behalf of His Majesty the Sultan and the People of Brunei Darussalam, I would like to congratulate our new President, His Excellency Vuk Jeremic on his election and wish him much success in the coming year.
We would also like to express our appreciation to our outgoing President, His Excellency Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser for his dedication to the work of our organisation.
We especially thank him for his efforts to encourage us all to meet successfully the considerable challenges now being posed by twenty-first century life.
At the same time, we would also like to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his constant willingness to apply the core values of the United Nations directly whenever he has been asked to act on our behalf.
We particulary welcome the five-year action agenda he has set out and the common vision it offers us.
At its heart, this vision is of tolerance, respect and understanding between nations.
Sadly, over the last two weeks, we have witnesssed events that present a veyrdifficult vision.
In considering them, Brunei Darussalam has stated its unreserved condemnation of their cause.
We have equally strongly advised all our people, of our Government's absolute rejection of the violence and extremism that have been their result.
Here at the United Nations, we congratulate the Secretary-General on his statement about the matter.
In doing so, we reaffirm our commitment to universal values of tolerance and respect.
Similarly, we uphold the institutions, structures and due processes of international affairs that this great organisation embodies.
Turning now to the theme for this year's General Debate.
The key word is "Adjustment."
I think it is well-chosen. It suggests change that is carefully and gradually done. It does not invite confrontation.
For us in Brunei Darussalam, it matches the main purpose of this annual meeting.
We see it as an opportunity to express our satisfaction and our concern about how successfully 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, Mr. President, we would like to start by expressing considerable satisfaction with many aspects of the organisation's work.
The media constantly headline 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 witht he work of our United Nations agencies and International Bodies.
We believe they are providing us with the opportunity to move out of nineteenth century colonialism and twentieth century national interests.
In the spirit of our theme here, they are helping us to "adjust" to twenty-first century regionalism and eventually, we hope, success 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.
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 built on 20 years of effort. Sustainable Development is now far more than an academic topic. It is firmly part of the United Nations long-term development goals.
Work has moved from theory into many practical ideas, projects and activities.
The second areas is covered in the Report on the on-going efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We especially noted the following statements by the Secretary-General in his foreword:-
- The target of reducing extreme poverty by half has been reached five years ahead of the 2015 dealine;
- The target has been achieved on halving the proportion of people who has 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 equally that of boys; and
- There is accelerating progress in reducing child and maternal mortality.
We are especially encouraged by his conclusion that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 is challenging but possible.
The third area is the sum of the continued efforts by the United Nations agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF and the FAO.
They are operating in up to 150 countries.
Success in these areas mean that our children and granchildren 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 organization.
In other words. Mr. President, in terms of the fundamental work of the United Nations, we see no need to undertake what our theme here describes as "adjustment".
It is in the structure of the organisation that we see a need for some things to be "adjusted".
The reason appears clear to many those of us who are smallboth physically and politically.
The current structure appears far too often to be the deep-seated cause of the headline news I referred to.
We see it as a twentieth century structure designed to meet twentieth century realities.
It is personified int he sixty-four years of suffering by the ordinary people of the Palestine and in all other desperate situations in which the root causes of conflict and confrontation are still buried in that last century.
Simply put, Mr. President, this must change.
In our global world, we are equally inter-dependent and equally responsible.
But, like many other members of this Assembly, we believe that the current structure does not truly reflect this. As such, it needs adjusting so that ancient political fault lines are repaired.
The form we hope it will increasingly take, Mr. President, will be like some regions today that operate from a basis of consensus, rather than compromise and confrontation.
That is what we have accepted in our own region of Southeast Asia.
It is the spirit behind ASEAN's present focus of building a peaceful and mutually respectful community of nations regardless of background, economic resources or national preoccupations.
It is why we greatly appreciate the strong support and goodwill that is constantly shown to us by our many partners from outside the region.
It is also why we in Brunei Darussalam, the smallest of all the members, feel honoured and privileged to be the ASEAN Chairman next year.
It is an association of neighbours who have deliberately chosen to "adjust" their region's previous identity.
Until 45 year ago, it was one of the most unstable regions on earth, a confrontation point for the national interests of great powers and a focal point of the Cold War.
Now, it has "adjusted".
It is determined to operate in the interests of its community of 600 million citizens.
And it will continue to do so, not by conflict or confrontation and not by compromising national values, but by peaceful consensus.
In the same way, we hope the structure of the United Nations can be gradually and carefully "adjusted".
Thank you, Mr. President.