Honourable Prime Ministers
I join earlier delegations in expressing Malaysia’s appreciation to you and to New Zealand for convening this important and timely open debate. I wish to also acknowledge the presence of many leaders and ministers in the Chamber today, underscoring the urgency of discussing the international peace and security dimension of the multifaceted challenges faced by SIDS today. 2. Malaysia welcomes this debate which in our view, provides a valuable platform to discuss and exchange views on how we can collectively address the peace and security challenges faced by SIDS in their quests towards sustainable development and universal prosperity. 3. My delegation wishes to also thank the Secretary General, His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Prime Ministers of Samoa and Jamaica, as well as the Foreign Minister of Jamaica and the Finance Minister of the Seychelles for their respective briefings which we have followed with much interest.
4. Malaysia believes that the plight faced by SIDS, particularly the devastating impact of climate change on their countries and population must be given due attention, by this Council. 5. We subscribe to the view that if left unchecked, climate change could in fact be the greatest threat multiplier for global security. What seems clear is that climate change threatens SIDS at the environmental, social, and economic levels. 6. Adverse impacts of climate change such as coastal erosion and rising sea levels threaten territorial integrity, food security, water, energy, health, and more broadly efforts by the SIDS to eradicate poverty. In the long run, climate change poses an existential challenge to SIDS.
7. We share the view that the challenge posed by climate change to SIDS is exacerbated by certain factors. For example, their small size limits capacity to harness growth opportunities and limits options for economic diversification, leading to increased dependence on trade and commerce.
8. These challenges which are quite specific to SIDS merit our attention and special consideration. We should not allow these factors to erode state capacity or eventually threaten its stability. Peace and security cannot exist without development, and development cannot be achieved without peace.
9. Another key area of concern is the fact that to date, adequate financial resources have not been made available to SIDS for implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation projects.
10. In this connection, Malaysia is pleased to note the decision of the Green Climate Fund Board to aim for a floor of 50 per cent of the adaptation allocation for the particularly vulnerable countries, including SIDS. Malaysia believes that SIDS must be equipped with necessary capacity to access the fund.
11. At the same time, more vigorous effort towards reducing climate change impacts on SIDS could be achieved if agreement on GHG emissions reduction targets at the forthcoming 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties could be found.
12. With a view to better understanding such challenges and in the effort to further progress in addressing them, Malaysia was pleased to join Spain in co-hosting an Arria formula meeting of the Council on a similar topic last month. Among the main views shared during the meeting was the need for this Council to be more engaged on the security impacts of climate change.
13. Successive agreements concluded in Barbados and Mauritius paved the way for the Samoa Pathway adopted just last year at the 3rd International Conference on SIDS which among others, aims to boost the SIDS’ capacity for more sustainable development. Among others, the Samoa Pathway had called on the United Nations system to support the SIDS by incorporating their priorities into its relevant frameworks.
14. Malaysia remains committed to assist SIDS in their pursuit of sustainable development. Malaysia believes that human resource development and capacity building are two key elements for achieving sustainable development. We have been providing technical assistance and sharing its experience in these fields through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program or MTCP.
15. Since its inception in 1980, MTCP has seen participation of 3,400 participants from 41 SIDS. Apart from short courses in Malaysia, we also offer the services of experts to SIDS in areas where Malaysia has relevant and proven expertise.
16. Since the SIDS conference last year, Malaysia has increased its allocation to MTCP by an additional USD 1 million to be allocated under the MTCP for courses and programmes relevant to SIDS. In 2015 to date, a total of 58 participants from SIDS have attended 19 MTCP short-term courses. Malaysia remains committed to sharing its development experience particularly in the field of poverty eradication and capacity building with the SIDS, both at the regional and international levels.
17. Peace and security issues facing SIDS have far-reaching impacts over the decades ahead. We must continue to highlight the unique challenges that confront them in order to mobilise greater international support for their developmental needs. We urge the Council to listen to the voices of SIDS, and to undertake the necessary action in ensuring that their path to a resilient future is stable and secure.
I thank you, Mr. President.