Thank you, Mr. President,
I join earlier speakers in thanking you for convening this debate which we consider pertinent and timely. We also thank you for the helpful concept note which provides a useful guide for our discussion today.
2. We are also pleased to have Ambassador Carlos Holguin of Chile and Ambassador Olof Skoog of Sweden joining us today. We have listened to their respective briefings very carefully and with much interest. They have certainly brought much insight to the topic at hand.
3. We also appreciate the Presidency reaching out to States affected by sanctions for the purposes of the debate today. In this connection, we welcome the participation of the delegations of Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Iran, Libya and Sudan and CAR. We believe their participation could afford a broader perspective to the discussion.
4. Malaysia takes this opportunity to reaffirm the longstanding position of the Non Aligned Movement that application of sanctions by the United Nations as authorised by this Council must be fully in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the Charter, and then only as a measure of last resort.
5. Given that the bulk of Council’s subsidiary bodies are the sanctions committees which undertake important functions including implementation, implementation monitoring and assessment of the various sanctions regime, we support the Presidency’s focus on this theme, with the aim of making the work of such committees more streamlined, coordinated, and effective.
6. Since much ground has been covered by earlier speakers, I wish to focus my intervention on Malaysia’s experiences as Chair of two subsidiary bodies, namely the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and the 1970 Committee on Libya sanctions to contribute to the discussion.
7. At the outset, Malaysia wishes to acknowledge and express appreciation to the preceding Chairs of the CAAC working group. They have built a solid foundation for the promotion and protection of the CAAC agenda in the Council which has allowed us, as the current Chair of the working group continue emphasising the centrality of the CAAC agenda as a key component of the larger protection of civilians agenda in the Council.
8. Malaysia assumed chairmanship of the CAAC working group with keen interest to ensure the buy-in and co-ownership of concerned countries. To this end, we sought to introduce certain innovations such as reflecting the views of the concerned states – in toto – to the working group’s conclusions or outcome report.
9. We firmly believe that such measure contributes to the overall outcome whereby interested partners are afforded easy access to the views of all concerned parties on any given situation. We are grateful that the introduction of this measure has been supported and accepted by all Council members.
10. Another aspect of innovation in the work of the CAAC WG relates to better coordination and cooperation between the working group with other sanctions committees. Given the cross cutting themes addressed under the working group and the sanctions committees, we had in 2015 worked with Lithuania to hold joint meetings between the CAAC WG and the 2140 and 2127 committees.
11. We believe that such joint meetings affords a wider perspective to both the working group members and sanctions committee members, which is an important exercise particularly when assessment has to be made on the effectiveness of the sanctions regime, including on possible unintended consequences, particularly on children but also more generally, on civilians in conflict situations.
12. With regard to our work as Chair of the 1970 Committee, we share much of the views expressed by earlier speakers who spoke on their role as chairs of sanctions committees. That said, we would emphasise the role of the Chair in undertaking outreach activities, including the dissemination of information on the work of the sanctions committee to as wide an audience as possible. Greater understanding on the workings of the committees could support better and more effective implementation.
13. On this note, we also see scope for better coordination among Chairs of the subsidiary organs of the UNSC, especially those with related themes or geographical scope.
14. In terms of transparency and inclusivity of the work of Council’s subsidiary bodies, we share the view that such principles must apply from the very start of the process, including on the appointment and selection process.
15. This year presents an excellent opportunity to revisit these and other procedural aspects concerning the selection and appointment issue, given that the General Assembly will be electing non-permanent members of the Security Council in June. The lead time afforded for delegation successfully elected to the Council should also be taken to adequately prepare them for their eventual role as Chairs of the various subsidiary bodies.
16. In this regard, Malaysia supports the proposal for consultations on Chairs to start as soon as possible to allow time for sufficient preparations, with the full involvement of the newly elected members, taking into account their views and preferences, if any. Improving the transparency of the selection and appointment process for chairs of subsidiary bodies would greatly improve the legitimacy of the process, particularly in the eyes of the elected members.
17. On transparency in general, Malaysia welcomes the proposals calling for more open briefings on the work of sanctions committees to the wider membership. That said, we are equally mindful of the fine balance between transparency and confidentiality.
18. In concluding, we wish to express appreciation to the Presidency for initiating the draft Note on the working methods of the subsidiary bodies and we look forward to engaging constructively with all Council members on it.
19. Moving forward, we support proposals concerning burden sharing among all Council members on chairing the subsidiary bodies. Additionally, we are also open to consider reviving the 2000-2006 Informal Working Group to review and improve the effectiveness of sanctions committees.
I thank you, Mr. President.