Thank you, Madam President,
I join earlier speakers in welcoming you to the Council and in thanking the delegation of Venezuela for convening this debate. I wish to also acknowledge the presence of high-level representatives of Angola and Spain. My delegation associates itself with the statement to be delivered by Iran on behalf of NAM.
2. We are also pleased to have His Excellency Mr. Ban ki-Moon, the Secretary-General with us. We have listened carefully to his learned views which give us much thought and reflection on this subject.
3. Malaysia firmly believes that all member states must remain united in our collective resolve to uphold and respect the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter. Such commitment is especially urgent and crucial in light of the challenges we face in maintaining international peace and security today. Indeed, these seem a world away from the challenges faced at the time when the Charter was first promulgated.
4. Periodic conversation and assessment such as this, focusing on our collective effort in maintaining international peace and security, is decidedly a welcome and useful exercise.
5. In its 70 years of existence, the global multilateral system underpinned by the UN has paved the way for great strides by member states in fields such as socioeconomic development, poverty eradication, promotion & protection of human rights, countering terrorism and violent extremism, and in addressing environmental concerns, among others.
6. However, the evolving nature of threats and non-traditional security challenges faced by the UN and particularly this Council today threaten to undermine much of the gains achieved. Today, the prospects of such threats and conflicts spilling over well beyond local or domestic contexts is all too real.
7. The threat posed by the Ebola and Zika viruses, the scourge of terrorism, the heinous crime of migrant trafficking and smuggling, and the massive displacement of whole populations fleeing conflict are among the key challenges that the international community today have to confront with.
8. At the same time, challenges of a more traditional nature still remain. The nuclear test detonation and ballistic satellite launch by the DPRK just some days ago, shocked not just the Northeast Asian region, but the entire world.
9. We recall that upon its admission to the UN on 17 September 1991, the DPRK delegation led by First Deputy Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju stated, I quote:“….the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as a State Member of the United Nations, will remain faithful to the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter….” – end quote.
10. It is our fervent hope that the DPRK renews and honours such expressed commitment. We hope that the DPRK would positively consider returning to peaceful negotiations with a view to ensuring peace, security and stability in the Korean Peninsula and beyond.
11. Since it's very existence, the UN has contended with the question of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people for their self-determination.
12. To date, the Security Council’s approach on this issue stands out as an example of selective inaction in implementing the purposes and principles of the Charter.
13. As long as the situation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories remains unresolved, the UN will continue to be seen as lacking the necessary political will to uphold the Charter; or at the very least, stands accused of selectively applying it.
14. In this context, this Council bears a significant responsibility. It cannot continuously be oblivious to the haunting cries of the Palestinians subjugated to increasing dehumanization policies.
15. The longer self-determination, human rights and the rule of law are denied to the Palestinians, the further we are collectively guilty from fully respecting and upholding the Charter.
16. Failure to resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict exacerbates radicalism and fuels violent extremism; the consequences of which are plain for all to see in the increasingly frequent terrorist attacks targeting civilians, including in capitals around the world.
17. I wish to recall the words of former SRSG Mohamed Sahnoun on Somalia, who in 1992 observed: “When you drop a vase and it breaks into 3 pieces, you take the pieces and put it back together. What do you do when the vase shatters into a thousand pieces?” – end quote.
18. Fast forward nearly a quarter century later, such words also aptly describes the conflagration in Syria which threatens to not only consume itself, but possibly even its neighbours, should it deteriorate further.
19. In welcoming the agreement reached by the ISSG principals in Munich several days ago on a nationwide ceasefire, we call upon all parties to respect and implement the ceasefire without preconditions.
20. Pending the ceasefire, we further call on them to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access throughout the country. The Syrian authorities must live up to its international obligations and demonstrate its respect for the Charter’s humanitarian imperatives in this regard.
21. At the other end of the Middle East, the outlook for the situation in Yemen seems equally bleak with no end in sight to the acute suffering of the civilian population who are besieged on all sides. We call on the parties to the conflict to reinvigorate efforts to resume negotiations for a peaceful settlement to the conflict.
22. Over in Africa, Malaysia is encouraged by among others, the steady progress in Somalia supported by its international partners in progressively restoring normalcy to the country. We are also encouraged by the collective resolve of the countries in the region in making contributing to the MNJTF aimed at countering Boko Haram.
23. The collective actions of those countries, coupled with the support of the international community stand out as an affirmation of Charter principles including those laid down in Chapter VIII.
24. In concluding, I wish to underscore Malaysia’s firm belief that the Charter is a living document. We, the member states, breathe life into it through our collective and ongoing efforts to respect and uphold its purposes and principles. We must continue to live by its ideals.
I thank you, Madam President.