15 November 2020
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, this afternoon joined other ASEAN Leaders for the Closing Ceremony of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits and Handing Over of the ASEAN Chairmanship to Brunei Darussalam, held virtually via video conference from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman.
The Closing Ceremony began with remarks by His Excellency Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam as the ASEAN Chairman for 2020, among other things, reiterated ASEAN’s strong commitment to multilateralism, dialogue, ASEAN Centrality, and shaping an inclusive rules-based regional architecture. The ASEAN Identity was emphasised in contributing to sustainable development of the region. The conclusion and signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will further promote economic liberalisation and connectivity. Viet Nam expressed confidence in Brunei Darussalam’s chairmanship in 2021.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc then handed over the ASEAN Chairmanship to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. Brunei Darussalam will be the Chair of ASEAN for 2021.
This was followed with His Majesty’s titah, in which His Majesty congratulated Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and the Government and people of Viet Nam, on successfully chairing ASEAN during a very challenging year.
Despite the disruptions, Viet Nam has guided ASEAN to fulfil its promise of being “Cohesive and Responsive”. Brunei Darussalam will continue to advance regional recovery and Community-building efforts.
ASEAN was formed over fifty years ago with a vision for a better and more peaceful future based on the shared understanding that ASEAN as a whole, is greater than the sum of its parts. Integration, unity and solidarity, have and must continue to be, the foundation of ASEAN’s relations in advancing together.
In today’s polarized world, ASEAN must continue to advance together. His Majesty expressed satisfaction with what ASEAN has achieved thus far.
Although ASEAN is a prosperous region with a growing economy and improved connectivity, the region has faced financial crises, energy shortages, natural disasters and climate change. The severe challenges on global activities brought about by a virus has also shown us that ASEAN must continue to strengthen ASEAN solidarity and Centrality to overcome them.
As a region, ASEAN must continue to cooperate and innovate, even during challenging circumstances.
His Majesty believed that ASEAN’s strength is through its collective desire for peace, development and prosperity as enshrined in the 1967 Bangkok Declaration and the ASEAN Charter.
The people always come first in advancing together as one ASEAN Community, guided by values and aspirations articulated decades ago.
His Majesty stated that as Chair in 2021, Brunei Darussalam will promote three fundamental areas, inspired by ASEAN’s long history of development.
First, caring for our people and each other’s well-being. Second, preparing for future opportunities and challenges. Third, prospering together as a unified region. In this spirit, the theme for Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship will be “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”. These three fundamental areas will strengthen ASEAN’s solidarity and reinforce ASEAN Centrality.
Moreover, it will accelerate efforts to recover from the pandemic and realise our ambitions of an inclusive ASEAN Community.
To this end, the support and contributions of our Dialogue Partners are important to help shape the regional outlook and ASEAN’s post-2025 Vision.
At the end of the ceremony, the ASEAN leaders also witnessed a video presentation by Brunei Darussalam, revealing the theme and aspirations of Brunei Darussalam as ASEAN Chairman in 2021 which is “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”.
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was founded on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN on 7 January 1984