– As delivered by the Ched fe Cabinet –

Statement by H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

18 August 2021


Her Excellency, Ambassador Noor Qamar Sulaiman, the Permanent Representative of Brunei Darussalam to the United Nations and Chair of ASEAN New York Committee,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to join you in commemorating ASEAN day. I commend the Government of Brunei for their chairmanship of ASEAN this year, and welcome the pertinent and encouraging theme, ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’.

Excellencies, the COVID-19 pandemic has offered us a firm reminder on the importance of multilateralism, particularly the need for global cooperation and collaboration in tackling global challenges. Not since the Second World War has the planet faced such an obstacle, so far-reaching, so devastating, and yet, so unifying. If there is a message that has come out of this past year it is that we must work together if we are to persevere.

I commend the efforts being taken by ASEAN Member States to control the spread of COVID-19 and to coordinate on response and recovery plans. What is important now is to continue working together, hand-in-hand, with international partners to expedite and scale up vaccine delivery, and to ensure a transformative recovery that strengthens resilience and boosts sustainable development.

On this note, I commend the continued strengthening of relations between ASEAN and the United Nations.

Together, we strive for common goals in areas such as peacekeeping operations, sustainable development, environmental protection, and gender equality, amongst so many others. 

The ASEAN-UN Summit and the ASEAN-UN Ministerial Meeting have been held annually since 2010. These engagements provide an opportunity for leadership from across the UN and ASEAN to exchange views on areas of mutual interest. The last such meeting led to the adoption of the new ASEAN-UN Plan of Action (2021-2025), which will continue to guide both sides in further strengthening this Comprehensive Partnership for the next five years. 

Excellencies, I am encouraged that ASEAN-UN collaboration in peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding also continues to be strengthened. Nearly 5,000 military and police peacekeeping personnel, including a growing number of women, from seven ASEAN Member States, have been deployed in 10 global UN peace operations. This is commendable.

Relatedly, I welcome the Joint Communique of the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting on the appointment of the Honorable Mr. Erywan Yusof, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Darussalam, as Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar. This appointment will contribute towards peaceful, transparent, and democratic developments in Myanmar.

In closing, I thank you for your active engagement and support to the Office of the President of the General Assembly throughout the 75th Session. I look forward to the continuation of meaningful cooperation between the UN and ASEAN.

Thank you.