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The Legislative Council (LegCo) has made history with Brunei Darussalam becoming a full member of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) yesterday, during the 29th APPF Meeting plenary session which was held virtually.
The Sultanate had been an observer to the APPF since its inception in 1993, and remained committed in attending the annual meetings.
APPF, as a national and international parliamentary forum, has the role of discussing matters of interest to countries of the Asia-Pacific region, encouraging the promotion of cooperation at all levels in any critical political, social, economic and cultural development issues. APPF, one of the channels to discuss and exchange views on key policies and best practices, aims for coordination and unity in addressing matters of mutual interest.
In a statement of acceptance as a full member, LegCo member and Brunei Darussalam delegation head Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii discussed regional cooperation, which is crucial particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also noted that the Sultanate will remain highly committed and dedicated to actively participating in discussions of mutual concern; and contribute effectively to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region, while striving to jointly realise the main goals and objectives.
It is hoped that through the APPF, the country will also be able to strengthen ties with parliamentary institutions in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year’s APPF Meeting was held online, organised by South Korea and attended by the parliaments of 22 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Brunei Darussalam delegation included LegCo members Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Dewa Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Rahim and Yang Berhormat Haji Ramli bin Haji Lahit, and Secretary to the Cabinet Ministers Council and Clerk to the LegCo Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Judin bin Haji Asar.
In line with the ‘Role of Parliaments in Strengthening Resilience in the Post-Covid-19 Era’ theme, the 29th APPF discussed key issues related to the pandemic that has adversely affected all sectors of global growth.
In response to the pandemic, many values of the international community have been threatened in the process – including peace, prosperity and trade – due to measures such as border closures, and those that have limited individual freedom and global trade production and systems, resulting in a drastic economic downturn.
In this regard, international cooperation is needed to enable an immediate recovery process for the country and society and as a preparedness for similar future global crises.
In strengthening the resilience of the social system to narrow any gaps in response capacity and preparedness for future risks, Parliament plays an important role as government officials and legislators and in this aspect, APPF (as a forum) can lead discussions to connect Parliament in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year’s meeting convened for three days and approved 13 resolutions in a Joint Communique signed by the delegation heads of APPF members. The approved agendas include Asia-Pacific regional issues including women parliamentarians issues, politics and securities, economy and trade as well as Asia-Pacific regional cooperation issues.
The meeting ended with the host handover ceremony to Thailand.
(News Source: Borneo Bulletin)