Brunei to host ASEAN Summit 2013
Next year Brunei will be hosting the ASEAN Summit which will be another important calendar event in 2013. Last Tuesday, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam received the ASEAN chairmanship for 2013 from this year's host Cambodia. The 3 day event concluded where His Majesty joined other world lears in Phnom Penh at the 21st ASEAN Summit.
The theme for next year ASEAN Summit will be "Our People, Our Future Together" and this will be the fourth chairmanship for Brunei. It's also very likely that President Barack Obama will be attending the event next year.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (R) receiving the ASEAN gavel from Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen during the closing ceremony of the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh yesterday. Image taken from namnewsnetwork.org
His Majesty's titah at the closing ceremony of ASEAN Summit 2012 at Phnon Penh - "Thank you very much, Prime Minister and my congratulations on the very successful meetings you have chaired since we gathered here last week. I wish to commend you also for the leadership and commitment you and your government have given to ASEAN over the past year.
Like almost every aspect of our work in our Association, the role of the Chairman has to adapt to rapidly changing events and situations. Cambodia’s chairmanship has been in this spirit and it is much appreciated.
I’m sure colleagues wish to join me in also expressing our appreciation to the Secretary General and our Secretariat, for their dedication and hard work in supporting this Association.
Your Excellencies … This will be the fourth time that Brunei Darussalam has had the honour and the responsibility of chairing ASEAN. Over the years, the task of the Chairman has grown in scope and complexity.
This is clearly illustrated through the statistics recorded by our Secretariat, which show that the ASEAN Community has more than tripled in size since its founding. Even more significantly, the original total population of ASEAN as a whole of 200 million people, has now reached 600 million, 200 million of which are under fifteen years old.
It is estimated that to this figure is added one thousand new ASEAN citizens who have been born since last week. This means that young people make up 40 % of our community today. They will join us in facing both the challenges and opportunities presented by globalisation.
Addressing both the positive and negative aspects of globalisation constitutes much of the task facing Brunei Darussalam as Chairman, but in carrying out our responsibilities, we are guided always by the principles of chairmanship set out in Article 32 of our Charter.
We will continue the strengthening of ASEAN’s central role in Southeast Asia, by encouraging consensus without compromising any member’s legitimate national interests, nor disregarding the legitimate interests of our partners.
Above all, we will work to safeguard the wellbeing of our ASEAN Community as a whole, as expressed in the theme we have chosen:“Our People, Our Future Together.”
I wish to thank our fellow members of ASEAN for the confidence they are placing in us as Chairman for the coming year. Rest assured that Brunei Darussalam will do its utmost to justify that confidence."
The United States will provide up to $6 billion for a comprehensive partnership for a sustainable energy future as part of an initiative with Brunei and Indonesia.
"Energy and the environment are among the most pressing issues confronting our region," the White House said before President Barack Obama left for Washington Tuesday.
The regional partnership was proposed by Obama, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the East Asia Summit earlier Tuesday.
"Recognizing the key roles in the coming year of Brunei as it assumes Chair of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit, and of Indonesia as it takes up the Chair of APEC, President Obama looks forward to working closely with both countries as well as the range of partners across the region to advance energy and sustainability cooperation," a statement said.
The White House said the partnership offered a framework for energy and environmental cooperation across existing forums to ensure affordable, secure, and cleaner energy supplies.
"Bilateral and multilateral energy and environmental initiatives are flourishing in the Asia Pacific," the statement said.
"The United States, in partnership with Brunei and Indonesia, will help coordinate and enhance these efforts, share best practices, and leverage existing initiatives."
U.S. President Barack Obama, center, joins a group photo during the East Asia Summit with, from left, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihino Noda, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Obama, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, China's Premier Wen Jiabao, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Photo: Vincent Thian / AP
Existing energy initiatives include the ASEAN-United States Energy Cooperation Work Plan, the APEC Energy Working Group and East Asia Summit Energy Ministers. Key regional priorities are renewables and cleaner energy, markets and interconnectivity, the emerging role of natural gas and sustainable development.
"We will engage with the private sector as well as partner countries in the region to determine specific projects within these four priority areas," the statement said, adding that work was also envisaged with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
"With an estimated $9 trillion needed in investment in electricity alone through 2035 to meet growing demand in the region, there is enormous potential for U.S. industry to play an important role in the region’s energy future." Source: The Cambodia Herald.
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