His Majesty then continued to attend the 13th East Asia Summit Plenary, which was held at the Suntec Convention Centre.

Before the Summit Plenary began, His Majesty joined other leaders of the East Asia Summit for a group photo.

The Summit Plenary then began with an Opening Statement from His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore and Chairman of ASEAN, who welcomed the East Asian Heads of State and Government.

This was followed by the presentation on the East Asia Cooperation Development Report by His Excellency Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

In this summit plenary, His Majesty in the titah said that since 2005, the East Asia Summit has been an integral part of the regional process. With the shared aim to maintain peace, stability and economic prosperity, East Asia have promoted practical cooperation and strived to build trust in the region.

Over the years, His Majesty has personally witness many countries working very well together on issues of shared interest and concern. Today, new and emerging challenges have made the work of East Asia more complex and more necessary, than ever before.

His Majesty then states that one of the challenges is protecting and preserving the natural environment, especially from climate change and pollution. Such efforts are essential considering the impact of humans on world wildlife, which has decreased by 60 percent between 1970 to 2014, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

In this regard, His Majesty commends the efforts of E.A.S. participating countries in combating plastic pollution, which may become the next global threat to the environment.

Brunei Darussalam, His Majesty adds, has begun phasing out single-use plastic bags in shops and restaurants aimed at a plastic-bag-free country by next year. In this regard, E.A.S. participating countries can explore similar collective approaches which could counter plastic pollution.

In the titah, His Majesty states that another complex challenge that East Asia faces is the impact on the security and livelihoods of the people as a result of the changes brought about by technology. East Asia should find ways to prepare for disruptions, as well as find solutions to address challenges such as cybercrime. This is especially important as societies and businesses are becoming increasingly digitalized and interconnected through the internet. At the same time, such efforts will build mutual trust in addressing areas of common concern and help to strengthen the bonds between the countries. In ending the titah, His Majesty believes that by building greater trust and confidence, East Asia can improve the resilience of the region to future uncertainties and ensure peace, stability and prosperity for the people.

Before the East Asia Summit Plenary, His Majesty attended the East Asia Summit Lunch Retreat and then proceeded to view the Smart Cities Showcase with the other leaders.

Source: Radio Television Brunei