The ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit was held at the Europa Building in Brussels, Belgium, on December 14. Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, stated during the plenary session at the conference that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) should use their strategic partnership to focus on issues of global importance like climate change, biodiversity loss, and deforestation. He further explained the reason behind this – since these issues are major contributors to ongoing natural calamities like changing weather patterns, loss of potable water, air pollution, and environmental degradation, it would be in every nation’s best interest to have them worked upon.
The monarch suggested that doing so would drive the conversations toward making green transitions. And such transitions would eventually result in sustainable growth and development.
To that end, the Sultan welcomed the committee’s cooperation with the Green Initiative Programme in Southeast Asia. He also added that he looked forward to working with the EU through the ASEAN Centre in order for climate change to be introduced and established in the Sultanate.
Next, the Sultan redirected the conversation to the issue of global food wastage. He laid emphasis on driving change and transforming the global food systems to lessen food wastage.
He noted how the cooperation benefits the region, given the EU’s digital transformation experience. Its integral role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is another factor that contributes to the progress of the cooperation.