BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Brunei’s government exhibits a firm commitment to providing women with a voice and equal opportunities for their participation and contribution to the nation, particularly in diplomacy and national governance.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, highlighted that Brunei follows a national policy based on the principles of Brunei Madani, which ensures ample space and opportunities for women to excel in these crucial roles.
“Women have played vital roles across various aspects of diplomacy, contributing to the progress of nations and the global community. From our first appointed female ambassador, PG Lim, to the first career ambassador, Datuk Zabedah Ali, to the most recent junior officer in the ministry, each and every woman diplomat has been an integral part of Brunei’s foreign policy formulation and implementation. Many Bruneian women diplomats have also had the opportunity to hold esteemed positions as ambassadors, high commissioners, and become Brunei’s permanent representatives to the United Nations,” stated Zambry.
“Our national policy based on Brunei Madani is a testament to our unwavering commitment to ensuring equal space and opportunities for both men and women in diplomacy and national governance.”
Zambry made these remarks in a video broadcast during the international forum titled ‘Women in Diplomacy: A Spectrum of Opportunities,’ held in Bandar Seri Begawan to commemorate the International Day of Women in Diplomacy, which is observed annually on June 24.
The forum brought together esteemed figures such as former UN assistant secretary-general Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Ireland’s Ambassador to Brunei, Hillary Reilly, and the UN Resident Coordinator in Brunei Darussalam, Karima El Korri.
During the event, Karima, along with Brigade Adjutant and Senior Staff Officer Personnel Section and Gender Advisor Second Brigade of the Irish Defence Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Jayne Lawler, discussed the roles of female diplomats in decision-making processes and the challenges and possibilities encountered by women at different stages of their careers.
The forum, organized by the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations in a hybrid format, attracted over 100 practitioners, foreign policy influencers, and administrators working in diplomacy. It received co-support from the Embassy of Ireland in Brunei and the UN in Brunei Darussalam.