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ASEAN needs to continue upholding centrality, unity: Brunei's sultan

Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (2nd L, front) attends a meet-and-greet event in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, July 24, 2022. (Photo by Jeffrey Wong/Xinhua)

Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah on ASEAN Day called on ASEAN member states to strive to realize a people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN.

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah called upon ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states to uphold the 10-country bloc's centrality and unity on Monday.

In his remarks on ASEAN Day, which falls on Monday, the Sultan said that this year marks the 55th anniversary since the establishment of ASEAN.

"ASEAN Day marks the occasion to celebrate our achievements and contemplate on the future of the association as we strive to realize a people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN."

Despite the challenges the region faced over the years, from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to geopolitical competition, ASEAN will continue to work closely amongst its member states and external partners to advance the region's recovery and continued development for peace and prosperity of all its people.

"With only a few years before ASEAN achieves its Community Vision 2025, it is important that we continue to uphold ASEAN centrality and unity so that all ASEAN moves forward harmoniously into the future together," the Sultan said.

"This can be realized through close cooperation and coordination where we are able to address challenges and take advantage of opportunities that may arise for our mutual benefit," he added.

The Sultan said that Brunei would continue to work with all ASEAN member states in strengthening ASEAN's community-building efforts in promoting lasting peace, security and stability, sustainable development, inclusive economic growth, as well as shared prosperity and social progress in the region.■