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Wednesday, 17 June 2020 - Opening Remarks by Permanent Secretary MTIC at The 49th ASEAN Senior Transport Official Meeting (49th STOM)

Mr. Mohammad Nazri Mohammad Yusof
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications of Brunei Darussalam
(Chair of the 49th STOM)

The 49th ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting 
(49th STOM)

Wednesday, 17 June 2020 (9.30am -12.30pm)
Terbilang Meeting Room, MTIC
via Video Conference

Excellencies STOM Leaders,
Vice-Chair (STOM Leader of Cambodia),
Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for Economic Community,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh & A Very Good Morning,

Our warmest greetings to everyone and to our Muslim colleagues, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Eid Mubarak!

2. I am very pleased we have this opportunity to meet virtually for the 49th ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting (49th STOM) despite the very challenging circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.  On this, I extend my sincere appreciation to all colleagues for your unwavering support to proceed with this meeting.  It shows our firm commitment to come together in solidarity to continue our work even during these difficult times. 

3. Allow me to acknowledge the presence of our Deputy Secretary General for ASEAN Economic Community, Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo.  Thank you, Deputy Secretary General for joining us and through you, many thanks to your supportive team for assisting us in all the arrangements. 

4. Colleagues, we are living amidst what is potentially one of the greatest threats in human tragedy.  The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has affected all of us and caused large-scale loss of life with severe human suffering.  On behalf of the Government of Brunei Darussalam, I would like to express our deepest condolences for the loss.  As we all are aware, the growing impacts of the pandemic have been far reaching which brings economic, financial, social and also “supply and demand” shock.  It further hampered the functioning of global supply chain and also many sectors, including transport connectivity, while the most hit-hard is the aviation industry.  

5. Unexpectedly, the global health crisis has reshaped us to make the right changes to be more resilient so that we can adapt to the so-called “new normal”.  Our ASEAN Leaders have provided us with the direction when they met on 14 April and also with the Plus Three dialogue partners.  We also noted the outcomes of other ASEAN Sectoral Bodies towards addressing the adverse impacts brought about by COVID-19 outbreak.  It is heartening to see the ASEAN community has been working very closely together to mitigate the social and economic impacts, and more importantly, keeping supply chains network open.  On this, I look forward to hearing from colleagues when we consider a very important Agenda Item 6 on COVID-19 on what we can do collectively at the regional level and way forward for post COVID-19 recovery.  I believe this is our opportunity to make a great response and even bigger impacts.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

6. Moving on, at the last 25th ATM held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, we had been tasked to deliver eight (8) of the annual priorities in transport for this year.  Later, we will hear from respective Lead Country/Chair to share with us on the progress implementation.  Before that, I would like to briefly touch on the mid-term review of the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP) 2016-2025.  It is indeed a timely review.  It allows us to consider all those initiatives that were put in place five years ago to determine whether they remain relevant in a rapidly evolving regional and global situation.  On this note, I once again express my sincere thanks to all delegations for your hard work and contributions which resulted in a (successful) conclusion of the 1st TFM Meeting held yesterday.

7. Much, however, remains to be done in our work given that most of the Working Groups were unable to meet as initially planned.  Very recently, the Philippines has offered for the Air Transport Working Group (ATWG) to meet virtually on 21-22 July.  I call upon all member states to support this proposal.  At the same time, I fervently encourage the other Working Groups to continue their work so we will have timely deliverables at the 26th ATM.  Let us also not forget to keep pursuing our engagement with the Dialogue Partners to further strengthen transport cooperation with them.  This also includes finding appropriate ways to finalise the relevant Air Services Agreement especially with New Zealand and the EU.

8. With that, I would like to conclude by reaffirming the importance of ASEAN solidarity and the spirit of a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community in facing the outbreak of COVID-19.  I look forward to a most productive meeting with colleagues, and of course, the continued support from our ASEAN Secretariat.

Thank you.

Created at 06/10/2020 10:30 by Dk Dewi Najayati Pengiran Hj Shahrir
Last modified at 06/10/2020 10:30 by Dk Dewi Najayati Pengiran Hj Shahrir