I wish to congratulate you and Chile for convening this open debate. Malaysia is pleased to see you presiding over the Council. We add our voice in welcoming the adoption of the Presidential Statement.
2. Mindful of the instrumental role you played as the first Executive Director of UN-Women, your presence here today reinforces the message on inclusiveness and on the critical linkages between development, international peace and security and human rights which together constitute the pillars of this Organisation.
3. I also wish to thank UN Secretary-General His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, His Excellency Ambassador Antonio Patriota of Brazil, Chair of Peacebuilding Commission and Mdm. Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Prize Laureate (2011) for their presentations.
4. We meet today against the background of an increasingly turbulent world. From the Middle East to Africa, from Asia to Europe, more and more civilians have and continue to be caught in a seemingly endless spiral of vicious and violent conflict.
5. An important dimension of many of these ongoing conflicts is their intra-state or intra-national nature and the increasing prominence of non-state actors as drivers of conflict. By virtue of our increasingly globalized, interlinked and interdependent world today, we are also collectively faced with other non-traditional threats to international peace and security such as viral pandemics, cross-border terrorism and climate change, among others.
6. Against such threats, this Council has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability by recognizing and responding to their changing nature. For instance, Council resolutions 2177 on combating Ebola and 2178 on combating Foreign Terrorist Fighters are examples where Council had effectively galvanized and rallied the international community to recognize and address such scourges against humanity.
7. The Council has been at the forefront in promoting the principles of inclusiveness for sustainable peace with a view to preventing future conflicts, as reflected in a number of its statements and decisions on a number of situations around the world. Additionally, the establishment of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission is a tangible manifestation of the Council’s commitment in that regard.
8. That said, Malaysia believes that there is room for a more strategic and more holistic approach in dealing with both traditional and non-traditional threats to international peace and security. In that context, we welcome discussions such as the one today as it allows us to take a deeper look at the underlying causes of various conflict situations.
9. In Malaysia’s view, understanding the nexus between peace and security and development is key, given that security is a prerequisite for development and development is possible only in a peaceful and stable environment.
10. Malaysia remains convinced of the need to proactively promote stable and inclusive societies where radicalization, violence and extremism are totally and completely rejected. Towards that end, States, their partners and stakeholders must spare no effort in identifying and subsequently addressing the factors or conditions which could frustrate the aim of achieving cohesive and inclusive societies.
11. Ownership over such efforts must lie first and foremost with the State and national governments, supported by partners and stakeholders. The United Nations, including this Council are well placed to play a pivotal role in supporting such efforts, including through special political missions and peacekeeping missions.
12. Malaysia realizes that in pursuing peace and development, the role played by women is crucial. In this regard, the Government has carried out long-term strategies and programmes to ensure women’s equitable share in the acquisition of resources, information, opportunities and in the benefits of development. The strategies emphasize on equality and justice in the implementation of development policies so that women can contribute to and realize their potential to the optimum in all sectors in accordance with their capabilities and needs. The Government has also taken the necessary measures to create enough opportunities for the youths in the country to enable them to play a meaningful role in shaping their future.
13. Malaysia also recognizes that the advancement of civil and political rights in the country should keep pace with the significant progress made in the development areas. In this regard, the Government has taken significant measures aimed at further enhancing the exercise and enjoyment of such rights in the country. Malaysia’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights was demonstrated, among others, by the establishment of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia which is intended to promote awareness and provide education relating to human rights, and advise and assist the Government in formulating legislation and procedures on these matters.
14. We share the view that challenges faced by multiethnic, multi-religious and multicultural societies - especially those in the developing world – seen in terms of implementing or realizing principles of inclusion is enormous. We further share the view that exclusion is particularly dangerous in multicultural and multiethnic states where certain components of the society are marginalized or excluded from the mainstream. The task is even more daunting for societies in the post-conflict or transitional phase, given that they would be ill equipped to not only embark on nation and peacebuilding, much less to address the root causes such as marginalization and exclusion which gave rise to the conflict in the first place.
15. As a multiethnic, multi-religious and multicultural society itself, Malaysia is keenly aware of such challenges.
16. Upon achieving independence in 1957, social cleavages along ethnic lines, where the identification of race with particular occupations was especially pronounced resulting in significant inequality of income and wealth. Consequently, mistrust and even animosity among the various communities was widespread.
17. Against the backdrop of the ideological confrontations which defined the Cold War era, there was also additional pressure in the form of low intensity guerilla warfare and terrorism by Communist insurgents.
18. Such challenges necessitated the implementation of radical strategies in order to achieve two key objectives namely, security and poverty eradication. Among the notable strategies include the establishment of “New Villages”, which gathered communities living near the forest fringes – where they were open to intimidation and coercion by insurgents – nearer to the towns where the government provided basic infrastructure and amenities including housing, water, electricity most importantly, security.
19. The increased sense of security coupled with newfound economic opportunities for the “New Villagers” succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of the people. The security guarantees provided by the government meant that the people were free to focus their time and energy on improving their economic situation.
20. The implementation of this and other bold plans and strategies have borne fruit. To illustrate, at independence, 70 percent of the population lived in poverty; according to the latest UN Human Development Report for Malaysia released in 2014, poverty rates stand at 1.7 percent.
21. In sharing that short anecdote from my country’s history, I wish to emphasize that the notions of inclusion and inclusiveness must be given life and must result in tangible outcomes.
22. Malaysia has also found that in order to cement peacebuilding and nation-building efforts, inclusiveness must go hand-in-hand with other equally important values including tolerance and moderation. These values, which are deeply ingrained into the daily lives of our people has allowed Malaysia to enjoy relative peace, stability and progress since independence.
23. Malaysia is also perhaps fortunate, as it is part of the ASEAN region which since its inception in 1967 has also sought to promote and implement such values.
24. These are some of the lessons that Malaysia has learnt on inclusiveness and on the very real benefits it has brought in terms of peace, security and stability. We realize that when all segments of societies are guaranteed equal opportunity, economically, socially and politically and their separate identities are respected, they will become a productive, vibrant part of the State, celebrating the richness of its diversity, while building a united, strong and stable country.
25. I also wish to highlight that the concept of moderation promoted and practiced in Malaysia has managed to produce a unique “social cohesion” which enables the multi- racial, multi-religious and multi-ethnic societies in the country to live together in peace and harmony through negotiation, consensus and compromise, to embrace peace and reject any form of extremism and violence for long-term mutual survival, sustainability and resilience.
26. I wish to conclude by emphasizing that Malaysia will continue to support the task of promoting the value of inclusiveness and the holistic vision of international security based on the interdependence of the three pillars of the United Nations system: peace and security, development and human rights.
I thank you, Madam President.