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Public Library Publications Annual Security Outlook 2002 Brunei Darussalam


  • As a small country and strategically located in Southeast Asia, Brunei Darussalam is very conscious of the environment surrounding it. Obviously, developments in and around the region could affect the security outlook of the country.

  • Brunei Darussalam is a peace loving country. This has been manifested in the country's external policy since the resumption of full independence in January 1984. The foreign policy has always been guided by the Titah of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the Proclamation of Independence in January 1984 when His Majesty stated: The maintenance of friendly relations among nations on the principle of mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of all nations free from external interference.

  • In carrying out these objectives, Brunei Darussalam has also adopted a strategy of extending friendships to all countries that wish to be friendly with it. Brunei has established diplomatic relations with more than 130 countries from allover, the world and set up joint commissions with practically all Southeast Asian countries. We have also opened up diplomatic missions abroad that are now numbering more than 30.

  • Besides bilateral approaches, in various ways and commensurate with its limited resources, the country has also actively participated in and contributed to, to the regional and international processes. So far, it has joined a host of regional and international organizations, all designed to foster friendship, understanding and networking for cooperation.

Perception of Regional Outlook

  • Brunei Darussalam is of the view that while the overall security situation remains stable, the region continues to face uncertainties and challenges especially those arising from the sustainability of the economic recovery process and the threats of terrorism.

  • Brunei Darussalam considers that terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D. C. last year had a great impact on regional security. We condemned such acts of terrorism and believed that the war against terrorism ought to be done in a comprehensive manner. Brunei Darussalam continues to work with its neighbours either bilaterally or multilaterally in order to enhance our capacity to fight against terrorism.

  • The role of major powers in the region and the relationships among them continue to underpin regional security. Brunei Darussalam is pleased to note that bilateral interaction between them is taking place more regularly and this is indeed an encouraging trend that is good for the stability and security of the region. Brunei Darussalam further believes that building confidence and forging cooperation in areas of common interest among major powers are important for the promotion of mutual trust and understanding.

  • In Northeast Asia, Brunei Darussalam believes that the resumption of dialogue between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is important for the inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, in keeping with the spirit of the 15 June South-North Joint Declaration.

  • In Southeast Asia, the region continues to experience relative peace and stability. Recent positive signs of growth in the global economy and in particular that of the United States augur well for the region's economic recovery. Brunei Darussalam also welcomes the independence of East Timor in May 2002 and looks forward to working closely with it on issues of mutual concern either bilaterally or multilaterally.

  • We welcome the ongoing efforts by both ASEAN and China in trying to come up with a regional code of conduct for the South China Sea. We see this as an important confidence building measures for the claimant countries as well as all other countries in the region.

  • Brunei Darussalam continues to attach great importance to regional processes such as ASEAN, the ARF, APEC and ASEM. These processes serve as important building blocks that reinforced regional peace and stability and complementing other bilateral networking. These processes further provided avenues for officials to interact with one another thus reinforcing mutual trust and understanding.

  • We see ASEAN as playing a leading role in maintaining peace, stability and security in Southeast Asia. Brunei Darussalam likes to see ASEAN continuing to play such role and also as a driving force in regional cooperation such as in ARF, APEC and ASEM. We believe the inter- locking relationship among its members build over the years are instrumental in enhancing confidence and understanding. Notwithstanding the challenges facing it, Brunei Darussalam is confident that ASEAN will continue to remain strong and united with growing external linkages with its Dialogue Partners and the ASEAN Plus Three process.

The ASEAN Regional Forum

  • Brunei Darussalam values the contribution of the ARF in promoting confidence among its diverse members. The ARF remains the key regional security forum in the Asia Pacific with the participation of all countries in the region including major powers. Since its inception, the ARF has made very good progress in building confidence thus promoting mutual trust and understanding.

  • Brunei Darussalam believes it is important for ASEAN to remain a leading role in the ARF. While taking into account the numerous views about the pace of its evolution, Brunei Darussalam sees it essential for the ARF to move at the pace comfortable to everyone. Thus, it is of importance to note that the ARF has started to address the concept of Preventive Diplomacy (PD) while continuing to attach great importance to the central issue of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).

  • While holding the chairmanship of the ARF 2001-2002, Brunei Darussalam continues to promote understanding and trust among the ARF participants through its good office and coordination role. At the same time, Brunei will also continue to pursue initiatives aimed at advancing and strengthening the ARF process on the basis of the Concept Paper adopted in 1995 such as the producing of the 'stock-take' paper. Brunei Darussalam wishes to express its appreciation to all ARF participants for their valuable cooperation and contributions during the period of its chairmanship.

Brunei Darussalam's commitment and contribution to regional security

  • Brunei Darussalam continues to attach great importance to the maintenance of regional peace and stability. We see this as important prerequisites in order for the country and the region as a whole to continue enjoying economic development and prosperity.

  • Regionally, Brunei Darussalam has shown its commitment to regional processes through hosting important meetings like the APEC Economic Leaders Summit in 2000, the ASEAN Summit in 2001 and the annual ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM), the Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC), the ASEAN Plus Three and the ARF Ministerial Meeting in July 2002. These serve to reinforce the country's commitment to building better understanding, friendship and trust in the region.

  • Brunei Darussalam will contin.ue to play these roles in the future commensurate with its limited resources.

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