April 1, 2021, 05.53 PM

Will there be face-to-face meetings during the second half of 2021?

Brunei Darussalam has decided to convene all ministerial meetings and other meetings below the ministerial level virtually this year. Therefore, from my point of view, it is very unlikely for us to have face-to-face meetings until the end of this year. On this matter, I believe the Brunei government will take into consideration the development of the pandemic situation as well as the coverage of mass vaccination programs throughout all ASEAN Member States.

Nevertheless, we at the Embassy, stand ready should there be a decision in convening an ASEAN meeting in physical format.

What are the programs that have been done or will be done in your role as Indonesia’s Ambassador to Brunei and one of the ambassadors in the ASEAN country to enhance the unity of the people in this regional bloc?

Currently, we are in talks with the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Sports, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other ASEAN Member States Missions in Brunei, and with the Brunei Music Society (BMS) to hold a joint cultural performance in the second semester of 2021 in conjunction with the Brunei Darussalam chairmanship. Hopefully, through culture, the event would help build bridges for greater understanding among the ASEAN citizens. Furthermore, I am also in discussion with other ambassadors to organize sports events and social gatherings to enliven Brunei Darussalam's chairmanship.

During the recent informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, all ASEAN foreign ministers and a representative of the Myanmar military representative attended the meeting and discussed the current development in Myanmar. What is your view on the response of the ASEAN member states to bring peace and prosperity to Myanmar?

ASEAN Member States’ common response was clear with the convening of the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on March 2. We shared the same concern over the situation in Myanmar. ASEAN has also expressed its willingness to assist Myanmar in getting out of this situation. Indonesia plays its part to ensure that ASEAN as a big family will not leave nor isolate Myanmar. Indonesia continues to support Brunei Darussalam as the current chair to take steps in assuring the safety of the people of Myanmar and restoring normal conditions in Myanmar, as it is the wish and in the interests of the people of Myanmar.

What steps will be taken by the Member States to curb the spread of Covid-19 in this region?

There are a lot of initiatives under the ASEAN framework to not only curb the spread of the Covid-19 in the region but also to recover from its unprecedented crisis in many areas. The steps taken on ASEAN initiatives are, among others, implementing the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan, utilizing the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund, including preparing its use on the procurement of vaccines, operationalizing the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies (RRMS) and working on the ASEAN Plus Three RRMS, and establishing the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases and ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework.

Could you tell us the state of bilateral relations of Indonesia with Brunei Darussalam and how you see it developing over the coming years?

Indonesia's Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Dr. Sujatmiko (6th from right) posing for a photo with business community in the Sultanate on July 11, 2020. Dok. KBRI Bandar Seri Begawan Indonesia's Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Dr. Sujatmiko (6th from right) posing for a photo with business community in the Sultanate on July 11, 2020.

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