By Azlan Othman
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam arrived in Singapore yesterday afternoon to attend the 13th Asean Summit.
Accompanying His Majesty are Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar binti Hakim Mazhar.
On arrival at the Changi International Airport, Their Majesties and Her Royal Highness were greeted by Ng Eng Hen, Singapore's Minister of Manpower and Second Minister of Defence, and several senior officials of the Singapore government.
Also present at the airport were Pehin Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Brunei's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II; and officials of the High Commission of Brunei Darussalam in Singapore.
The 13th Asean Summit is scheduled to start Tuesday and will be attended by Asean Heads of State and Government.
It will be followed by Summits of Asean + 3, Asean + China, Asean + Japan, Asean + Republic of Korea, Asean + India, the third East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asean + European Union Commemorative Summit.
Today, the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga) Summit will be held. His Majesty is expected to chair the summit.
The theme of this year's Asean Summit is "Environment, Energy, Climate Change, and Sustainable Development". The leaders will have the opportunity to discuss Asean's cooperation and its future direction as well as exchange views on regional and international concerns.
The Asean leaders are expected to sign a number of key documents relating to developments in the region and the theme of this year's summit.
The third EAS will bring together leaders of Asean member countries, Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand for discussions of mutual interests.
The leaders will sign the Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment.
His Majesty will join other Asean leaders for an informal working dinner this evening, while Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Yeo will also host a dinner for Asean's foreign ministers.
This morning, the Asean Charter will be presented to the foreign ministers by members of the high level task force. There will also be informal consultations of the Asean Economic Ministers and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (AEM-METI Consultations).
Meanwhile, Bruneian officials joined their Asean counterparts in the Asean Standing Committee Preparatory meeting at Shangri-La Hotel yesterday.
This year's summit coincides with a significant milestone in Asean's development, its 40th anniversary. Singapore will also host the Asean -EU Commemorative Summit on November 22.
On Tuesday, leaders will sign the Asean Charter, which will transform the 10-country grouping into a more effective and rules-based organisation, as well as pave the way for closer integration.
The leaders will also be endorsing the Asean Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint, which will help chart concrete targets for establishing a single market and production base in the region by 2015.
In addition, the leaders will sign the Asean Declaration on Environment Sustainability, which will address the need to protect the environment, respond to climate change and conserve natural resources.
The Asean leaders will also meet with their respective counterparts from China, Japan, Republic of Korea in the Asean + 3 meeting Tuesday, where they will issue the 2nd Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of relations.
The leaders will also meet Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and Republic of Korea at the 3rd East Asia Summit (EAS) November 21.
The EAS leaders will issue a Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment.
On November 22, the Asean-EU Commemorative Summit marking the 30th anniversary of Asean-EU relations will also be held.
- Borneo Bulletin
(19th Nov 2007)