The 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits came to a close yesterday afternoon with His Majesty 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, in a titah, expressing honour and privilege to serve as ASEAN Chair for 2021. In the titah at the Closing Ceremony of the Summits via virtual video conferences from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman, His Majesty as the ASEAN Chairman for 2021, notes that Leaders had productive discussions on the current state and future direction of the region as well as considered ways to further enhance relationships with external partners. The year 2021 has been a challenging year as ASEAN continues to address the impacts from COVID-19, especially with the emergence of new variants. Despite this, ASEAN has continued to make advancements through collective efforts under the theme of "We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper".
His Majesty welcomes the adoption of inclusive and cross-pillar strategies to further advance ASEAN's Community-building efforts embodied in the 'ASEAN SHIELD' initiative, by improving institutional coordination to enhance preparedness and response to future emergencies and disasters. ASEAN has also stepped up efforts to respond to and recover from COVID-19, including work to procure vaccines for its people. His Majesty in his titah, highlights the cooperation to address mental health and nurture a Care Economy for the protection and welfare of the people of ASEAN, which are important building blocks to realise an ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and beyond. His Majesty also states that ASEAN has laid foundations to welcome the future with confidence and resilience by adopting the "Consolidated Strategy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution for ASEAN". To safeguard the region's progress and development, ASEAN has invested in the youth as its most precious resource.
His Majesty then handed over the ASEAN Chairmanship to His Excellency Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia through the passing of the ASEAN Chairman's Gavel as a symbolic handover of the Chairmanship of ASEAN to Cambodia as the upcoming Chairman of ASEAN in 2022. This was followed with remarks from Prime Minister Hun Sen, in which he stated that Cambodia, as ASEAN Chair for 2022, will steer ASEAN to collectively expedite the building process of an equitable, strong and inclusive ASEAN Community in line with the core spirit of ASEAN. His Excellency highlighted that Cambodia's Chairmanship theme of ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together will see ASEAN working together in achieving harmony, peace and prosperity in the region. The ASEAN leaders also witnessed a video presentation by the Kingdom of Cambodia as ASEAN Chair in 2022, which among others emphasized on strengthening ASEAN's centrality and unity for regional mechanisms and cooperation with external partners.
Source: Radio Television Brunei