At the outset, I wish to congratulate you and the delegation of China for assuming the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February.
2. Malaysia is pleased to note that under China’s presidency thus far, the Council has adopted important decisions and has had productive discussions on a number of issues and situations around the world. I understand that discussions on a number of very challenging situations are ongoing and I wish the Council success in its deliberations.
3. I also take this opportunity to wish you a belated Happy Chinese New Year and may the Year of the Golden Sheep bring much success, happiness and prosperity to one and all.
4. I wish to also acknowledge the presence of my counterparts around the table; the Foreign Ministers of Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Russian Federation and Venezuela. I am pleased to note the excellent cooperation between our delegations, as well as with other Council members and I hope that such cooperation will continue.
5. At this stage, I wish to associate my delegation with the statement to be delivered by Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
6. The Concept Note circulated ahead of our discussion today outlined 5 broad thematic areas. In my view, having a full discussion on those themes and the related issues would certainly not be possible today, given the constraints of time. As such, I intend to focus only on a few key issues with a view to contributing to the wider discussion.
7. Firstly, Malaysia welcomes today’s debate and believes that it affords a timely opportunity for the Council to take stock of its achievements thus far, and to reflect on the challenges faced in its continuing mission of maintaining international peace and security.
8. Such reflection in our view is both necessary and urgent, given the increasingly complex and multidimensional nature of new and emerging threats and challenges to international peace and security that we - as a global community - face and must address together.
9. Almost 70 years after its establishment, it seems clear that the threats and challenges faced by the Security Council of 2015 are different and perhaps equally, if not more, complex than the challenges it faced before.
10. From a historical perspective, Malaysia holds the view that the Council has a mixed record in terms of discharging its Charter mandated roles and responsibilities.
11. During the Cold War period, the Council appeared to be paralysed while numerous conflicts, many of which were ideologically-motivated wars by proxy, were fought around the world.
12. We recall the frustration and despair felt at the seeming powerlessness of this Council and the United Nations to act in the face of atrocities perpetrated by the likes of the Khmer Rouge, the past regimes in Latin America as well as the crimes against humanity that we had witnessed in Bosnia and Rwanda among others. This is not to mention the still desperate situation in Palestine which remains unresolved for almost as long as this Council and the UN have been in existence.
13. The exuberance and some say, triumphal optimism demonstrated upon the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s nurtured nascent hopes that a new multipolar system would succeed the previous bipolar order.
14. Fast forward to the present day, the continuing military and economic preponderance of certain states over others continues to dominate and shape international discourse and policy-making at the macro-level.
15. That said, such preponderance appears to have been both bolstered and to a certain extent constrained by the advent of globalisation.
16. Globalisation - particularly seen in terms of the widespread reach and use of communications and information technology and transportation - has undoubtedly had a multiplier effect in terms of the state’s ability to reach out and benefit not only its own people but also others elsewhere.
17. In Malaysia’s view, these positive gains must be preserved and further built upon by all states.
18. In this context, it is worth noting that later this year, the UN is expected to discuss and decide among others, on the package of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at further improving the well-being of our peoples.
19. While globalisation has undeniably brought about positive developments and advances in many different areas, there are those that would pervert, manipulate and misuse advances such as those in the fields of science, medicine, communications and information technology in the service of a darker, more destructive agenda.
20. In Malaysia’s view, the rise of the non-state actor – in particular terrorists – who would seek to harness the very features of our interconnected, interrelated and globalised world and would use them to sow terror, hatred and chaos is one of the defining and urgent challenges that must be addressed by the international community today.
21. Events and developments across the globe in recent years have shown how virulent terrorists and terrorism are and how they could quickly become malignant.
22. Whereas in the past, terrorism was employed in pursuit of political or ideological aims, the new breed of terrorist is no longer content with such aims. They now seek to control territory and populations - perhaps with a view to seeking equal status with other states.
23. Such ambitions are against the purposes and principles laid down in the Charter of the United Nations.
24. Notwithstanding their brutal and inhumane actions, the attempt to establish their so-called “state” runs counter to Charter principles including the principle of friendly relations among states; of restraint from the use of force; and of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, among others.
25. In view of such a direct challenge to core UN principles, all states must renew their commitment to act in a coordinated and concerted manner to counter this challenge. The threat of terrorism is not one that any of us can hope to overcome on our own. In this connection, we note the success of the recent summit on countering violent extremism hosted by the United States.
26. Malaysia is also encouraged to note the pioneering steps taken the African Union and by the members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission namely Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria as well as Benin to operationalise the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram.
27. The actions of these countries merit the full support of the international community and stand out as an affirmation of Charter principles, including those laid down in Chapter VIII.
28. In focusing on the seemingly disparate issues of globalisation and terrorism and how they could and have unfortunately intersected, I sought to highlight that while the nature of threats to international peace and security – and our understanding of such threats – have clearly evolved over time, the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations remain relevant and applicable.
29. As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the UN’s founding, Malaysia emphasises the need for this Council to meet the increasingly complex and multidimensional threats to international peace and security.
30. In Malaysia’s view, the Council’s continued ability to be flexible and adaptable is key to ensuring the effective and efficient discharge of its Charter mandated roles and responsibilities. We hold the view that certain aspects of the Council’s work including its transparency and accessibility, especially to non-members and stakeholders could be improved.
31. I wish to conclude by reaffirming Malaysia’s commitment to continue upholding the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter as well as to reaffirm our commitment to work closely and constructively with other Council members, partners and stakeholders towards that end.
I thank you Mr. President.