One heart on climate change
From Sonia K in Sydney

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah stated the importance of working together in facing the challenges of climate change.

The monarch applauded the initiatives that individual countries have made in encouraging sustainable development and highlighted the role which forest conservation plays in addressing climate change.

His Majesty delivered his titah when he attended the Leader's First Retreat Session with the other Apec Leaders chaired by the Prime Minister of Australia Mr John Howard. The focus of the discussion during the session was on Climate Change and Energy Security.

His Majesty later elaborated on the "Heart of Borneo" initiative, which together with Indonesia and Malaysia, aims to preserve biological diversity in Borneo and ensure the productive use of forest resources.

In this regard, His Majesty welcomed participation from member economies in the "Heart of Borneo" initiative and he further expressed his pleasure to endorse the Declaration on climate change, energy security and clean development.

On energy security, the Sultan encouraged the adoption of energy efficient technology and practices and welcomed the plan to set up a network of research institutes to study energy issues.

Yesterday, His Majesty started his day by attending the Dialogue with members of the Apec Business Advisory Council (ABAC) together with other APEC Leaders followed by the Leader's First Retreat Session which were both held at the Sydney Opera House.

His Majesty and the Apec Leaders, during the Dialogue with ABAC held close discussions with representatives of ABAC. Among the issues discussed included climate change, energy security, the WTO Doha Development Agenda and human security. After the dialogue, the leaders were invited to a lunch hosted by the Australian premier.

After the dialogue, His Majesty and the other leaders gathered for a customary official group photo donned in the official outfit for the Apec Economic Leaders Meeting for 2007, a Driza-Bone Riding Coat, which is a traditional Australian bush wear.

The official photo was taken at the recently world heritage listed Sydney Opera House, Australia's major performing arts centre and one of the World's most recognisable buildings.

Last evening, His Majesty and the 21 Apec leaders attended a Cultural Performance and the Official Leaders' Dinner hosted by Mr Howard at the Banquet Hall of the Sydney Opera House. - Borneo Bulletin (9th September 2007)