Brunei Darussalam has voiced its support for stronger measures against religious hatred, particularly Islamophobia and anti-Islamic sentiments, during the 78th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof, emphasized the unacceptability of justifying religious hatred under the guise of freedom of expression. Brunei joins international organizations such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the UN Alliance of Civilizations, along with other UN member states, in calling for increased action against religious hatred. The minister highlighted the importance of addressing the root causes of such hatred, which can lead to discord and intolerance and undermine efforts for sustainable peace. He also condemned deliberate actions, like the burning of the Holy Quran, as they provoke disharmony, erode trust, and threaten unity.
In addition to its stance on religious hatred, Brunei Darussalam expressed its commitment to upholding the UN’s principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, and political independence among states. The country emphasized the significance of the UN in maintaining international peace and security through a rules-based order.
Regarding the situation in Palestine, the minister strongly condemned actions that violate the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. He pointed out that Palestine’s continuous denial of fundamental freedoms, as safeguarded under the UN Charter, reflects a collective failure on the part of the UN. He highlighted the enduring struggles of the Palestinian people, including their long-standing occupation.
Brunei presented its second voluntary National Review Report, showcasing progress toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The country has made substantial strides and remains aligned with its national development agenda, Brunei Vision 2035. However, challenges in reliable data collection have hindered monitoring and evaluating SDG progress. Brunei is actively working to address this issue, collaborating closely with regional mechanisms such as ASEAN.
The minister announced the official launch of the ASEAN Centre for Climate Change in Brunei Darussalam, designed to facilitate data collection for climate action. This regional hub and research facility aims to enhance capacity to mitigate and combat climate change.
The theme of the 78th UN General Assembly, “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity,” aligns with the UN secretary-general’s vision for multilateralism. Tolerance and respect are highlighted as essential components of trust and solidarity in an interconnected world. Despite facing global crises and mistrust, Brunei Darussalam emphasized the need to reject actions that divide and oppress, promoting unity for a better future.