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Malaysia's Statements 2016

Malaysia's Statements 2016 (34)

Mr. President,

 

1. My delegation is grateful to His Excellency Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, for his presence and briefing today. We thank him for his frank assessment and strong message, and we appreciate his untiring efforts to facilitate peace in the Middle East, specifically, on the Palestinian question.

 

2. I also acknowledge the presence of His Excellency Foreign Minister Mr. Murray McCully of New Zealand. Malaysia appreciates New Zealand’s persistent commitment to push for Council action to create the necessary conditions for peace in the region.

 

3. My delegation decides to take the floor today, to echo the views expressed around the table on the urgent need for the Council to take decisive and concrete action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in line with the Council’s responsibility under the UN Charter.

 

Mr. President,

 

4. For far too long, the Council has been in a state of inertia when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which belies the worsening situation on the ground. Malaysia reiterates the need to create the necessary conditions for peace, and to push the parties towards the right direction in order to salvage the two-state solution.

 

5. Clearly, doing nothing is not an option for the Security Council, as an organ entrusted to maintain international peace and security. We must take urgent effective actions to halt and reverse illegal settlement activities and end the illegal occupation, which are fuelling radicalisation in the region and beyond.

 

6. Over the years, we had heard repeated warnings from the Secretary-General and Special Coordinator Mr. Mladenov about the expansion of settlement activities that threatened to bury the two-state solution. And yet, Israeli settlements activities kept growing, despite their undeniably illegal nature under international law, clear recommendations of the Quartet report, and widespread condemnation by the international community.

 

7. Recent developments have led to a new sense of urgency, especially the unprecedented attempt by the Israeli Parliament to pass a bill to legalise outposts, including on private Palestinian lands. Furthermore, just last week, Israeli authorities have decided to proceed with the plan to build 770 housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of “Gilo” in East Jerusalem.

 

8. As we have heard from the speakers at the Arria-formula meeting on settlements last October, the impact of settlements on the Palestinians are far-reaching. Settlement expansion has led to an increase in settlers’ violence, demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures, confiscations of Palestinian lands, discriminatory policies, as well as denial of development, infrastructure and natural resources. Palestinians are even prevented from burying their dead relatives in a Muslim cemetery adjacent to the AlAqsa Mosque, because Israeli authorities have seized the cemetery land.

 

9. Since the beginning of this year, Israel has demolished 866 Palestinian structures in Area C of the occupied West Bank, affecting over 5,000 Palestinians, of whom over 1,200 have been rendered homeless, including 586 children. The widespread anger, frustration, and despair, inevitably fed into further radicalization of the oppressed population who has nothing more to lose.

 

Mr. President,

 

10. Settlement activities constitute the single biggest threat to peace and the twostate solution. This threat has multiplied and became entrenched over the decades because of Council’s inaction. It is long overdue for the Council to assume its responsibility under the UN Charter to maintain international peace and security, and strive to reverse the negative trends that are threatening peace and the two-state solution.

 

11. The Council is responsible for the current predicament in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. But we can also undo it, if we stay true to the values and principles of the UN Charter and uphold international law and international standards of human rights.

 

12. I reiterate that the Council has various tools at its disposal, which it has not shy away from using in various conflict areas in the world. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be no exception.

 

13. We have seen how providing incentives, whether in the form of the comprehensive Arab Peace Initiative, or billions of dollar in military aid to safeguard its security, did nothing to persuade Israel to move in the right direction for peace. It has not led to Israel granting any concession to uphold the two-state solution. Instead, it has further embolden Israel into intensifying its settlement activities and entrenching its repressive occupation.

 

14. We need to stop rewarding illegal behaviors that threaten peace and security in the region and beyond. We need to stop shielding those who has continually violated Council resolutions, international law, and human rights standards.

 

15. The Council has a moral, legal and political responsibility to end the repressive Israeli occupation, to sanction settlement activities, the apartheid policy and gross violations of human rights, as well as to ensure accountability, and to support fundamental right to self-determination.

 

I thank you, Mr. President.

 

*************

I too would like to welcome the Judges and Prosecutor representing the ICTY and the Residual Mechanism back to New York, and thank them for their very comprehensive briefings.

 

2. My delegation welcomes the notable progress made by the ICTY and the Residual Mechanism during the reporting period. In particular, we wish to congratulate the Residual Mechanism for the official launching of its new premises in Arusha last month. We commend the Government of Tanzania for its crucial role and valuable contribution in this regard.

 

 

3. Malaysia is encouraged by the smooth functioning of the Residual Mechanism in assuming responsibility for a number of functions of the ICTR and the ICTY. We reiterate our call to member states to fully support the Mechanism, especially in tracking the remaining fugitives indicted by the ICTR, to enforce sentences, and to relocate those who had served their sentence or been acquitted by the Tribunal.

 

 

Mr. President,

 

 

4. Turning to the ICTY, Malaysia is reassured by the commitment expressed by its President that the judicial work of the Tribunal remains on track, to be completed by November next year. We welcome the progress made in the cases of Stanisić & Zupljanin, Prlić et al., and Mladić, during the reporting period.

 

 

5. Malaysia takes note of the evaluation by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on the methods and work of the ICTY, and the Tribunal’s response to the OIOS 2 report. We welcome the adoption of a “Code of Professional Conduct” by the judges of the Tribunal, in line with the OIOS’s recommendation.

 

 

6. While other recommendations of the OIOS may have some merit, we believe that at this point, the Tribunal should focus its time and resources to complete its judicial work within the stipulated deadline, instead of being distracted by administrative and management issues.

 

 

7. At today’s briefing, we again hear from Judge Agius on how staff attrition continues to seriously impact the work of the Tribunal, and could potentially affect its completion strategy. We believe at this last leg of the Tribunal’s work, member states should redouble their efforts to support the Tribunal in addressing this critical challenge.

 

 

Mr. President,

 

 

8. Malaysia views the reversing trend in cooperation with the ICTY deeply disturbing, especially in the context of revisionist movement in the region and the glorification of war criminals. These are warning signs that must not be ignored by the international community, as they could undermine the great stride that we had made in the past decades towards ending impunity for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

 

 

9. In this regard, we urge Serbia to uphold its legal obligations to resume cooperation with the Tribunal, including by executing the Tribunal’s arrest warrants. We also call on the relevant member states in the former Yugoslavia to intensify the pace and effectiveness of war crimes prosecutions by their national authorities for cases being referred to their national jurisdictions.

 

 

Mr. President,

 

 

10. More than 20 years ago, the Security Council decided to create the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda to try those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law, including genocide, mass rape, and ethnic cleansing.

 

 

11. The painful truth is, if the Security Council had the political will to prevent or stop the mass atrocities committed in Rwanda and in the Balkans region and uphold its responsibility to maintain international peace and security under the UN Charter, there would be no necessity for both Tribunals to be created.

 

 

12. However, in the bloody aftermath of the conflicts in Rwanda and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Security Council owes it to the victims to bring the perpetrators to 3 justice for their heinous crimes. We also owe it to the victims to remain firm in our commitment to justice and accountability many years later, and to fully support the Tribunals to fulfil their mandate until the end of their operation. We simply do not have the moral standing to disown the Tribunals.

 

 

13. Malaysia thus finds it rather incredulous that the priorities of ensuring justice and due process seemed to be buried in overwhelming concerns on budget and deadline.

 

 

14. There is no doubt that the historic legacy of the ICTY and the ICTR in ending impunity and in laying the foundation for international criminal justice will remain long after the Tribunals’ closure. What is less obvious is whether the Security Council will also be on the right side of history in supporting the Tribunals and the Residual Mechanism all the way in ending impunity.

 

 

I thank you, Mr. President.

 

 

************

 

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this important meeting and for the comprehensive concept note. Our discussion today is an important follow-up to the Arria-formula meeting held last April chaired by His Excellency President Macky Sall in which Malaysia was pleased to participate.

2. I have followed UN Secretary-General His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s comprehensive views on this topic with much interest. Similarly, I wish to convey my appreciation to the briefers namely, Dr. Turk of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace, Ms. Beerli of the ICRC and Mr. Walsekar of the Strategic Foresight Group for their respective expert views and presentations.

Mr. President,

3. The competencies of the General Assembly and its processes with regard to multilateral approaches on sustainable development and the environment including on management of transboundary water and water resources require no further elaboration.
4. However, it cannot be denied that there exists a legitimate linkage between the issues of water, peace and security which falls arguably under the purview of this Council. Therefore, for the purpose of this discussion, I will focus my remarks only on the issue of water-as-resource and the potential conflict that could arise from competition over water as a scarce resource.

5. Against that backdrop, my delegation is of the view that this discussion demonstrates the Council’s ability to assume a preventative posture by considering issues that could be a driver of conflict.

6. Hence it is hoped that the discussion today will be frank and forward-looking exchange on how the UN and the international community as a whole could address potential threats to international peace and security related to competition and conflict over natural resources – specifically, in this case – over water and water resources.

Mr. President,

7. The question of water security or rather, water insecurity cannot only be limited to issues of access. Water insecurity should be seen as a potential threat multiplier that can aggravate or be aggravated by existing tensions and conflict rooted in the political, social and economic realms.

8. In this connection, various possible causes of conflicts related to water including rapid population growth, industrialization, agriculture, and urbanization were highlighted earlier. The list should not preclude the impact of military occupation.

9. One particular situation stands out in this regard namely the dire situation of Palestinians in the OPT, specifically their right to water and access to water resources. Since 1967, Palestinians had lost access to the water of the Jordan River.

10. 90% of Palestinian water resources have been under Israeli control since 1967. Furthermore, the Apartheid Wall not only cuts off Palestinian access to their own land, it also cuts off their access to many important underground aquifers.

11. The expropriation by annexation of Palestinian water resources is illegal under international law. It is thus doubly illegal for the expropriated water to be used and channeled to the illegal settlers. In addition, the decision to prevent Gaza from rebuilding its water and sanitation infrastructure following the 2009 and 2014 attacks is abhorrent and unacceptable.

12. We call for an immediate end to systematic and cynical exploitation of Palestinian water resources which has caused much anger, frustration and despair among the Palestinians. Such unsustainable situation could trigger not only political-security crisis but potentially even a public health crisis in an already volatile region that can ill afford further threats to peace and security.

Mr. President,

13. Across the globe, my delegation is encouraged by the pursuance of collaborative efforts on transboundary water cooperation in the context of regional cooperation. Initiatives such as the Senegal River Basin Organization in Africa, the establishment of UNRCCA in Central Asia and the Blue Peace initiative in the Middle East that seek to harness water as an instrument of peace as opposed to a reason for conflict are inspiring.

14. I am pleased to share that in my own region Southeast Asia, the ten member states of ASEAN pursue such collaborative approach under the framework of the ASEAN Working Group on Water Resources Management or AWGWRM. Since 2005, AWGWRM has spearheaded implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Water Resources Management.

15. In essence, this format provides a platform to enhance cooperation, promote networking and engagement in collaborative action towards the practical implementation of integrated water resources management in the region.

16. At the global level, we commend and support the ongoing effort and work of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace led by Dr. Turk to strengthen the global architecture aimed at preventing and resolving water-related conflicts and tensions. We look forward to the release of the Panel’s final report and recommendations as a future contribution to the ongoing debate on water, peace and security.

Mr. President,

17. In concluding, I wish to highlight three additional points:

17.1. We acknowledge the potentially destabilizing effects that could arise from poorly managed conflicts and tensions related to water and water resources. Hence, it is vital that the capacity and capability of preventive diplomacy mechanisms and institutions including those deployed by the UN and by regional organisations continue to be supported;

17.2. It is vitally important to understand and address the negative impact of armed conflicts on water resources and related infrastructure, especially in those currently ongoing conflicts where we have seen the callous contamination of water and destruction of water-related infrastructure resources employed as military strategy or tactic in flagrant violation of applicable IHL norms and standards; and

17.3. In the post-conflict recovery phase, provision of safe water should rank among the highest priorities. Water, sanitation, and the associated delivery infrastructure are critical to economic development and the recovery of livelihoods in the aftermath of conflict. In this regard, partnerships, capacity building and transfers of technology are key to ensure sustainable water management in peace building effort. At the same time, collective efforts in achieving water related targets under SDG Goal 6 would help in addressing potential conflict driven by competition over increasingly scarce water resources. It is also vital that our collective efforts be further intensified in addressing the issue.

I thank you, Mr. President.

I am grateful to High Representative Valentin Inzko for his briefing and for his comprehensive reports to the Council, including the Special Report on a referendum in Republik Srpska.


2. Based on the briefing and the reports, my delegation is deeply concerned about the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the reporting period and the direction where the country is heading. Of our particular concern is the viability of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the agreement is being increasingly challenged and violated.


3. We can trace the various political contentions in the country to its ethnic fault lines, from the dispute over the 2013 census results; the referendum on “Republika Srpska Day”; the continuing failure to implement the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the electoral system for Mostar; to the secessionist agenda of some quarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


4. In this context, we recognised the crucial need for the Council to send a united message via Resolution 2315 to urge the parties to abide by their commitment to cooperate fully with all institutions involved in the implementation of the Peace Agreement, and to reaffirm the existence of two entities under the Peace Agreement, as uphold by the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Mr. President,


5. The holding of the referendum by the Republika Srpska on 25 September was carried out in complete disregard of final and binding decisions of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It represents the latest act of defiance by the Republika Srpska on the judicial institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in violation of the Peace Agreement.


6. We have seen persistent challenges by the Republik Srpska on the State’s judicial system in the past, including its disregard of the Court’s decision on the registration of defence property. More recently, the President of the Republika Srpska chose to ignore the summons by the State’s Prosecutor’s Office relating to the 25 September referendum.


7. It is simply unacceptable for the Republika Srpska to pick and choose which decisions of the State-level judiciary it is willing to obey. Such action is in violation of the Peace Agreement and the State’s Constitution. It also constitutes a dangerous precedent, especially in the context of divisive secessionist rhetoric and increasing attacks on the authority of the High Representative.


8. Self-serving and divisive politics is a dangerous game to be played on the future of the country, especially in view of its traumatic history. We thus, urges all parties to renounce its divisive politics and secessionist agenda, and to abide by the State’s Constitution, various UNSC resolutions and the Peace Agreement, for the sake of peace and stability in the region.


Mr. President,


9. Malaysia takes note of some positive developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the reporting period. We particularly welcome the progress made by the country towards EU integration, which remains central to the aspiration of its people.


10. Malaysia also welcomes the increase in foreign direct investments in the first quarter of 2016. We urge the government to remain steadfast in implementing its reform agenda, particularly to address youth unemployment, to fight corruption, to instil good governance, and to strengthen the rule of law.


11. We also commend the ongoing commitment by Bosnia and Herzegovina in countering violent extremism, including the recent sentencing of seven individuals for joining or attempting to join ISIL as foreign terrorist fighters.


12. On the issue of the return of refugees and displaced persons, we wish to see further progress being made by the authorities to create conducive political, economic and social conditions for their voluntary return and harmonious reintegration and reconciliation.


Mr. President,


13. Malaysia reiterates the need to intensify efforts to fully implement the 5+2 (five plus two) agenda as condition for closure of the Office of the High Representative. Until then, Malaysia reaffirms its strong support for the Office of the High Representative, as laid down in the Dayton peace agreement and upheld in various Council resolutions. We condemn intimidations and death threats levelled against the High Representative and called for their prompt and thorough investigation according to the rule of law.


14. We also recognise the important stabilising role played by the EU-led multinational stabilisation force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We thus welcome the renewal of its mandate and Council’s unity in adopting Resolution 2315 today.


15. In concluding, Malaysia reaffirms its commitment to the independence, sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have long supported the country in its re-construction after the war, and will continue to do so towards the country’s nation-building, inclusive democracy, reconciliation and economic progress.


I thank you, Mr. President.


**************

 

Thank you Mr. President.


2. My delegation is very grateful to Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Under-Secretary-General Stephen O’Brien, and Mr. Muhannad Hadi of the World Food Programme for their briefings.


3. Malaysia is gravely concerned by the very bleak picture of the situation on the ground, with the escalation in violence, the attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, the threat of famine, the collapse of the health system, and the threat of cholera outbreak. Regrettably, unlike other crises in the region, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has remained largely under the radar.


4. Last week, a side event on Yemen was held at the UN, where we were shown a documentary by the BBC on the threat of famine in the country. While the international community’s attention is focused on deaths due to ongoing fighting, we largely overlooked slow but widespread deaths brought about by starvation and lack of medical treatment.


5. Mothers had to watch their children and babies wither away before their very eyes due to the lack of milk, food, and medicine. Even bringing their children to the hospital did little to improve their situation due to the collapse of the country’s health system and the dire lack of food, fuel, and medicine. The situation is simply
unacceptable.


Mr. President,


6. As we have heard today, a staggering 14 million people in Yemen are suffering from hunger and malnutrition, over 3 million people driven from their homes and 21 million people in need of humanitarian aid. We call on all parties to agree to a lasting and permanent ceasefire that would facilitate the flow of desperately needed food, fuel and medical supplies into the country. We also urged the parties to open up Yemeni airspace to commercial aircraft and to evacuate those in need of urgent medical treatment.


7. We join others in strongly condemning all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Yemen, including the recent attacks on a marketplace, a water well, and a funeral ceremony. We also condemn attacks on Saudi’s territory by the Houthi militias, particularly the recent targeting of the Holy City of Makka Al-Mukarramah.


8. We support calls by the UN Secretary-General for full and independent inquiries to investigate gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, to ensure justice and accountability.


9. The continuing conflict has also led to a marked increase in the number of children being recruited by parties to the conflict. About 2 million children currently are out of school due to the ongoing fighting and insecurity, and are being deprived of their right to education. This situation has been exploited by armed militias, who are actively going to villages to recruit children. Some estimated that up to one-third of fighters in armed groups are children. Many of them are guarding checkpoints but they are also on the front line fighting.


10. Malaysia urges all parties to the conflict to adhere to their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law. All parties must make every effort to protect children, civilians, and civilian objects, and in ensuring immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access.

 

Mr. President,


11. With the breakdown in the talks in Kuwait, the conflicting parties in Yemen seemed further and further away from the promising steps they had taken towards peace several months ago.


12. The recent cessation of hostilities, while a welcomed respite, is far from sufficient to address the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. We fully concur with the assessment by USG O’Brien that the best humanitarian relief is to end the conflict.


13. Malaysia echoes the view held by the international community that there is no military solution to the conflict. However, the conflicting parties themselves need to believe in the need for a political solution. Prolonging violence will not benefit either side and will only be exploited by terrorist groups and lead to further catastrophic humanitarian situation.


14. A peaceful resolution of the conflict in Yemen hinges on the political will of the conflicting parties themselves. But the Security Council has an important role in bringing about the desired outcome by exerting its authority and its influence on the relevant parties, and by utilising the various tools at its disposal. The Council must also send a clear signal to the conflicting parties on the need to cease fighting and return to the negotiating table, to protect civilians and civilian objects, to ensure immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access, and to adhere to their obligations under international law.


15. We need to continue to support the tireless efforts of Special Envoy Ahmed to secure peace in Yemen. We urge all parties to engage constructively in negotiating the road map proposed by Mr. Ahmed, with the aim of ending the conflict and reaching a political agreement for the sake of peace and stability in Yemen and the region.


I thank you, Mr. President.


*****************

1. My delegation welcomes First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dačić, and Ambassador Vlora Çitaku of Kosovo, back to New York, and thank them for their statements.

2. I am also grateful to Special Representative Zahir Tanin for his briefing.

Mr. President,

3. Years of persistent efforts by the leaders of Kosovo in implementing socio-economic reforms have evidently borne fruits. We are pleased with the strong economic performance shown by Kosovo, with a 4% GDP growth and a marked improvement in its global ranking for “Doing Business” as reported by the World Bank.

4. As Kosovo moves closer towards EU integration, we envisage further intensified efforts by Kosovo to restructure its economy, implement economic reform measures, and address persisting challenge of high unemployment.

5. The normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina remains a crucial aspect in paving the way towards European integration, in the interest of peace, stability and prosperity in Kosovo and the region. We thus, wish to see the resumption of the high-level EU-facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, as soon as possible.

6. With respect to outstanding commitments as agreed in the 15-point Brussels Agreement, Malaysia urges Pristina and Belgrade to redouble efforts in implementing the historic agreement. These include the establishment of the Association of Serb majority municipalities and the implementation of the action plan for telecommunications in Kosovo. We also welcome the recent progress made with regard to Kosovo’s judicial integration and the redevelopment of the Mitrovica bridge.

Mr. President,

7. As highlighted by Mr. Tanin today and the Secretary-General in his latest report, I share their concerns on the political tensions relating to the issues of territorial delineation with Montenegro and the Trepca mining and industrial complex. We call on the opposition parties and their supporters to cease from political violence in expressing their grievances. We also urge all parties and stakeholders to avoid inflammatory rhetoric and to engage in dialogue and consultations in good faith to resolve the issues amicably and in accordance with the rule of law.

8. Malaysia commends President Hashim Thaci of Kosovo for his exemplary leadership and reconciliatory gestures in visiting memorials commemorating Kosovo Serb civilian victims in the conflict. His visits sent the much-needed signal towards reconciliation, national unity and social integration, in building a common future.

9. We call on the people of Kosovo to similarly focus on rebuilding trust and confidence, and to cease from targeting minorities, as well as religious and cultural sites.

10. Part of the effort to rebuild trust between the communities in Kosovo involves addressing the past. In this regard, Malaysia takes note of the appointment of the Chief Prosecutor of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in the Netherlands, to try cases arising from the findings of the EU Special Investigative Task Force.

11. We also commend ongoing efforts by the Kosovo government in countering terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation.

Mr. President,

12. I join my other colleagues in reaffirming support for UNMIK, which continues to play a key role in promoting security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo. We commend the leadership of the Special Representative, and the important role of the EU Rule of Law Mission, the OSCE, and the Kosovo Force in ensuring peace, security, and the rule of law in Kosovo.

13. Lastly, my delegation strongly supports the call by other Council members for a reduction in the frequency of Council meetings on UNMIK, to better reflect the situation in Kosovo and in view of more pressing matters under the Council’s agenda.

Mr. President,

I wish to firstly thank the Presidency for convening this meeting, which is timely coming roughly a year after the completion of the review of Security Council resolution 1325. The presence of high-level representatives around the table testifies to its importance.

2. I wish to also thank UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; UN Women Executive Director Ms. Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka and Ms. Rita Lopidia of South Sudan, representing civil society – for their respective briefings.

3. My delegation greatly appreciates their tireless commitment to women’s rights and empowerment in the pursuit of peace and security and we pay tribute to their continuing efforts in this regard.

4. Malaysia aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by Thailand on behalf of ASEAN. I wish to add the following remarks as further contribution to the discussion.

Mr. President,

5. The High-level Review, and the accompanying Global Study on the implementation of Resolution 1325 successfully renewed international momentum to fully actualize the involvement of women and leverage on their influence in matters of peace and security.

6. Similarly, the adoption of Resolution 2242 provided additional impetus for the Security Council to explore WPS issues more deeply, including in country-specific contexts through the Informal Experts Group (IEG) on WPS. I take this opportunity to acknowledge and commend Spain and the UK for their able leadership of the IEG which has enriched wider Council discussions.

7. We commend the steps taken by Member States to adopt or review National Action Plans on WPS and encourage their continued implementation. The establishment of a WPS National Focal Point Network is another useful platform for sharing information and experiences among Member States, including on national action plans.

Mr. President,

8. While there has been some positive progress, we stress that much more can and must be done to fully utilize the WPS agenda to resolve and prevent armed conflict. In our assessment, three key areas require more focus and attention, namely: peace processes, peacekeeping and policy-making.

9. We fully support efforts to increase and prioritise participation of women at all levels in peace processes and mediation efforts. The peace process in Colombia showed us how the significant involvement of women - both at the main peace talks in Havana, as well as in national and regional consultations – was critical in supporting the successful conclusion of the peace agreement between the Government and the FARC-EP.

10. Increased access to gender expertise by international mediators and negotiating parties in the drafting of peace agreements, resulting in the inclusion of gender-specific provisions in a greater number of agreements, is another positive development which should be sustained.

11. We also share the assessment that presence of women peacekeepers in conflict zones can facilitate interaction and confidence-building with local communities and affected populations, particularly women and children.

12. In addition to endorsing the “3Ps of Planning, Pledges and Performance”, the London Communique adopted by the UN peacekeeping ministerial meeting last month also affirmed the commitment to increase women’s participation in uniformed roles.

13. In this regard, I am pleased to share that as of 16 September 2016, Malaysia has increased the number of women military personnel deployed within our contingent under UNIFIL from 26 to 40.
14. Additionally, in implementing pledges on capacity-building made during the 2015 peacekeeping summit, the Malaysian Peacekeeping Center conducted three (3) training courses on gender, cultural diversity and protection of civilians in the first half of 2016, the latter with the cooperation of the Government of Japan. These courses have benefited over 40 military and civilian personnel. We hope to maintain and expand such training in the coming years.

Mr. President,

15. Resolution 1325 (2000) recognized the need for gender perspectives to be taken into account in political, security and humanitarian action. While there has been some progress in mainstreaming gender considerations in the work of the UN - notably the recent adoption of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Gender Strategy – there is still a long way to go in fully implementing such policies.

16. In this regard, Malaysia believes that increasing the number of women in decision-making positions contributes to the development and implementation of holistic and gender-inclusive policies which benefit the community, State or organization as a whole.

17. The call made in Resolution 1325 (2000) for increased representation of women at all decision-making levels remains as acute and relevant now as it was then, including within the UN. We continue to support the Secretary General’s efforts to achieve gender parity within the UN, especially at senior decision-making levels.

Mr. President,

18. In conclusion, the aim of the WPS agenda is aspirational: to restore the role of women and girls - one half of humanity – as effective actors with equal stake in peace and security efforts. Our task will only be complete when women’s representation and participation in conflict prevention, its management and resolution is axiomatic.

19. Until then, Mr. Secretary-General, my delegation offers our steadfast commitment and support in furthering this agenda. We hope that Secretary-General designate Mr. Guterres will continue to build on the WPS initiatives initiated under your tenure.

Thank you.

 

Thank you Mr. President.

2. My delegation is grateful to Special Coordinator Mr. Nickolay Mladenov and USG Mr. Stephen O'Brien of OCHA for their briefings.

3. Malaysia aligns itself with the statement delivered by Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, and with the statement to be delivered by Kuwait on behalf of the OIC.

Mr. President,

4. As this is Malaysia’s final Quarterly Open Debate on the Middle East in our capacity as a non-permanent member of the Council, I would like to take the opportunity to make several observations on Council’s approach towards the issue of the Palestinian question.

5. First of all, despite persistent warnings by the Secretary-General and the Special Envoy on the unsustainable situation on the ground and the ever-increasing threats to the two-state solution, it is regrettable that the Council has not been able to offer either effective or even symbolic responses to address the situation.

6. For many years, Council product on the issue of Palestine was practically non-existent, which belies the worsening situation on the ground. Mainly, this is due to the inability to muster enough political will, or the familiar excuse – that the time is not right for the Council to act.

7. Today, we expect to hear, yet again, repeated calls from UN member states for the Council not to shirk its responsibility under the UN Charter, and to take urgent action to salvage the two-state solution. As we speak, more homes are being destroyed, more deaths and despair inflicted.

8. Secondly, there is a tendency for the Council to accord equal treatment to both the Occupying Power and the occupied people, when in reality, no such balance or equality exists.

9. On the one side, we have an Occupying Power with great military might, which has been occupying a defenceless civilian population for almost half a century. On the other side, we have the occupied Palestinians who live under repressive occupation and a brutal blockade, who face discriminatory treatment and violations of their basic human rights on a daily basis, who are dispossessed of their homes and lands, deprived of natural resources and economic development, and restricted in their movement. All these are inflicting enormous hardship and sufferings.

10. It is misleading for us to assume that the Occupying Power and the occupied people have the same level of legal, political and moral obligations and responsibilities. Under international law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, substantial obligations are clearly imposed on the occupying powers to protect the general welfare of the inhabitants of an occupied territory. This includes protection from forcible transfer, and protection for their property. All of these had been violated.

11. Indeed, the international community didn’t try to be “balanced” when we condemned and sanctioned apartheid in South Africa, just as we should not try to be “balanced” when we discuss about the holocaust. What is wrong cannot be right. The sooner we realise this, the clearer our focus on the issue will be.

12. Thirdly, the Council tends to focus on symptoms of the conflict, and conveniently ignores its root causes. It is much easier and palatable to condemn sporadic attacks and acts of violence, than addressing the bigger question of what creates, fuels and breeds such anger, frustration and despair in the first place, which gave rise to desperate albeit violent response.

13. The Secretary-General earlier this year said, and I quote: “As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation.” He also said that “no one can deny that the everyday reality of occupation provokes anger and despair, which are major drivers of violence and extremism, and undermine any hope of a negotiated two-state solution”.

14. That statement should prompt us to think, reflect and act. It brings a humanistic angle to the conflict that the Palestinians should no longer be denied their fundamental right to self-determination and their quest for statehood.

15. Therefore, unless and until we deal with the root causes of the problem, which is the prolonged and repressive military occupation, the endless cycle of violence will continue and feed into the political narrative of those who thrive on it.

Mr. President,

16. Last Friday, Malaysia, together with Egypt, Senegal, Angola, and Venezuela, organised an Arria-formula meeting of the Council on the issue of illegal Israeli settlements. We listened to various experts who provided factual analyses on the worrying developments relating to settlement expansion in Occupied Palestinian Territory. Their summation was decidedly clear. The settlement expansion and repression must stop. The politics of old has no place for world hunger for peace.

17. I have listened carefully to the statement by the Israeli Permanent Representative. Not a single sentence addressed the issue of settlement expansion, which is the topmost concern of the international community.

18. In the coming weeks, we hope to see effective Council action to use the various tools at its disposal to address the issue of settlements. The settlements are not only illegal under international law, they also constitute the most tangible and visible threat to the two-state solution and thus, to peace in the region.

19. Clearly, habitual verbal condemnations in the past decades have done nothing to halt or deter illegal settlements activities. Instead, the Occupying Power is further emboldened by our inaction and has further sought to legalise outposts and seize more private Palestinian lands.

20. With the recent announcement by Israel to build new settlement units in the occupied West Bank, the ball is now in the Council’s court to act urgently, enforce its own resolutions, uphold the rule of law and prove its commitment to the two-state solution.

21. Similarly, the international community should also pursue all legal, political and economic channels to step up its pressure on the Israeli government to make it too costly for Israel to continue with its illegal settlement policy.

Mr. President,

22. I wish to highlight a recent attempt by a group of 15 women on board a Freedom Flotilla, which sailed from Barcelona and headed for the Gaza Strip last week, to highlight the ongoing illegal blockade of Gaza and deliver humanitarian aid. Among them were Northern Ireland’s 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Dr. Fauziah Hassan, a female Malaysian doctor.

23. Although their attempt was subsequently blocked by Israel, their courageous non-violent resistance managed to raise awareness on the ongoing violations of international law, international human rights standards, and Security Council resolutions by Israel. It also provided a glimmer of hope for the Palestinians in Gaza, fostered solidarity and conveyed to them that the world has not abandoned or forgotten about them.

24. This is not about demonising Israel. It is about seeking justice and ending occupation and its repressive nature. It is about seeking policy shift and attitude change. It is about creating the enablers and conditions for a lasting solution.

25. We urge civil society worldwide to continue their struggle to call for accountability and to highlight gross violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Their role is especially important in shaping public opinion and providing pressure from the bottom up, in view of the collective failure by governments and world leaders to take effective action to resolve the conflict.

26. In concluding, I wish to reiterate Malaysia’s request that a humanitarian briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, be made a permanent feature of Council meetings on the issue. We believe the humanitarian situation on the ground demands particular attention and a separate briefing by OCHA.

27. Although this is our last intervention as a Council member in the Quarterly Open Debate, Malaysia remains committed to push for the establishment of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.

I thank you, Mr. President.

************

 


Thank you Ambassador Fodé Seck for giving me the floor.


2. As one of the Co-Chairs of this meeting, I would like to extend my delegation’s
deep appreciation to the speakers for coming all the way from Tel Aviv, Brussels, and
Washington D.C. to participate in this meeting. We thank them for their insightful and
eye-opening presentations.


3. I don’t plan to repeat the statistics on the disturbing continuation and expansion
of settlement activities over the years. I believe the speakers have done an excellent job
in narrating the growth of settlement activities, and in outlining the impacts on the daily
lives of ordinary Palestinians and on the two-state solution.


4. Instead, I wish to focus on the question of what Council members should do, to
halt settlement activities, which are clearly illegal under international law and constitute
the main obstacles to peace and the two-state solution. There is no doubt that this falls
under the Council’s responsibility, based on the UN Charter in maintaining international
peace and security.

5. There are some who think that we should provide incentives to Israel to stop its
illegal behaviour. But based on Israel’s actions for the past decades on the issue of
settlements, I think we can safely conclude that the problem here is not the lack of
incentives, but the lack of sanctions. It is not that we need more carrots, but we need
more sticks to ensure adherence to international law and international human rights
standards, as well as to uphold peace and the two-state solution.


6. The ultimate incentive for Israel has been offered by the Arab countries over 14
years ago, in the form of the Arab Peace Initiative. The Initiative has also been
endorsed by the Middle East Quartet and supported by the UN Secretary-General. Yet,
it has been rejected by Israel.


7. Just last month, Israel has received an unprecedented military assistance,
totaling 38 billion dollars, covering the period of 10 years. I can’t imagine any greater
incentive for Israel’s security. And yet, merely weeks after the signing of the largest-ever
military-assistance deal, Israel brazenly announced that it would build even more new
settlement housing units.


8. Clearly, there is a need to stop rewarding illegal behaviors that threaten peace
and security in the region and beyond. It simply does not work.


9. Similarly, shielding Israel by casting 41 vetoes – in the past four decades, sadly
only encouraged impunity through more repression. History will judge us for our
persistent failure in exercising moral and political responsibility to end the repressive
Israeli occupation, to sanction the apartheid policy and gross violations of human rights,
to uphold accountability, and to support fundamental right to self-determination.


10. For many decades, we have merely condemned settlement activities, without any
concrete action to stop them. In the meantime, settlements kept growing, settlers’
violence kept increasing, and conditions for a two-state solution kept eroding. Anger and
frustration at the long-standing double standard treatment towards the Palestinian
people continue to fuel radicalisation in the region and beyond.

11. The Security Council has various tools at its disposal to address the IsraeliPalestinian
conflict, including the settlement issue. It is time for us to urgently assume
our responsibilities and not allow any attempt to find a solution or call for a halt and
rollback be labelled as anti-semitic dampens us. Our call is to stop the rapid slide into a
one state solution. That cannot be an anti-semitic stance. How could that be, when we
want both Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace and harmony.


12. I sincerely hope that today’s discussion will provide an impetus to push the
Council to take concrete action to address the issue of illegal Israeli settlements.


13. Before I end my intervention, I would like to take this opportunity to pose several
questions to the speakers:


i) As the Chair of the Security Council Working Group on Children and
Armed Conflict, I wish to highlight the issue of the protection of children.
Can you please elaborate on how settlement expansion, home
demolitions and settlers’ violence are impacting Palestinian children in
particular, both physically and psychologically? And what protection did
they have when their family home was torn down and they became
homeless?


ii) I also have a question on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions
campaign, known as BDS, as a means to pressure Israel to comply with
international law.


As we are aware, some quarters in Israel and even lawmakers in the US
have been trying to counter the BDS movement by targeting those who
support the BDS campaign through threats of economic, political, and
academic sanctions. Some critics of the BDS Movement described it as
“anti-semitic”.

I would like to hear your views on the BDS movement, do you think that it
is a viable mechanism to pressure the Israeli government to change its
policies on settlements?


iii) Regarding settlers’ violence, do you have the statistics on the rate of
prosecution and the rate of successful conviction in Israeli courts for the
crimes committed by the settlers against Palestinians? I’m also interested
to know your views on the availability of international legal avenues on the
issue of settlements, including perhaps the ICC?


Prof. Dubuisson mentioned in his presentation about the Fourth Geneva
Convention and its applicability to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Can
you elaborate more on the legal obligations of the High Contracting
Parties with regard to the persistent non-compliance by Israel with the
Convention?


iv) Lastly, I’m interested to know to what extent is the government’s
settlement policy supported by grassroots Israelis? Do you think pressure
to cease settlement expansion could come from within Israel, or
externally?


Thank you.

 

Thank you Mr. President,

I join Council members in expressing deepest condolences, and in conveying heartfelt sympathy on behalf of the Government and people of Malaysia to the government and people of Haiti, in the tragic aftermath of hurricane Matthew. Our thoughts, prayers and solidarity are with the people of Haiti during this difficult time.

2. The onset of hurricane Matthew has undoubtedly dealt a severe blow to the ongoing national and international efforts in support of Haiti’s political-security transition and socio-economic development, to say the least.

3. Even so, we take to heart the courage and resilience demonstrated by the Haitian people in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and we are convinced that they will be able to rise to the present challenges as well.

4. As a member of this Council, Malaysia remains committed to, and will spare no effort in helping to galvanise and mobilise the necessary support, aid and assistance for Haiti.

5. We take good note of SRSG Honoré’s comprehensive and sobering briefing and wish to place on record our great appreciation to her and MINUSTAH, the UN country team and other agencies on the ground for their unstinting efforts to address the immediate humanitarian needs of the population.

6. In this connection, we welcome the launch of the flash-aid appeal by the UN Secretary-General yesterday; it is critical that the request for assistance is met and that, soon.

7. I wish to also place on record Malaysia’s appreciation to the Secretary-General for recognizing the UN’s contributory role for the spread of cholera in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake; more importantly we commend the Secretary-General recent announcement during the GA High-Level week on proposed new package of measures including by “intensifying efforts to build sound water, sanitation and health systems”.

8. To say that hurricane Matthew has severely, negatively impacted Haiti and its people would be a gross understatement. The cost of rebuilding civilian infrastructure, transport and communications networks is immense.

9. With regard to short-term and immediate assistance by UN actors and agencies, we are of the view that it would be helpful to quickly identify possible ‘quick-impact projects’ with a view to stabilizing the socio-economic situation of Haitians, in light of the devastation of crops and food stocks, towards ensuring food security for the most vulnerable segments of the population.

Mr. President,

10. But for hurricane Matthew, this past weekend would have seen Haitians return to the polls to elect a new president. As such, while we understand the need for postponement, we hope that any rescheduling of the presidential and legislative elections could take place as soon as practicable.

11. This is crucial to ensure that Haiti could continue on the path towards full restoration of the constitutional order. To this end, we call upon all Haitian political parties and players to cooperate with the interim administration and the electoral commission so that credible, smooth, transparent and inclusive elections could be held as soon as practicable.

12. Results of the municipal-level elections released last July are a good example and we are pleased to note that in all 139 municipal councils, at least one of its 3 members is a woman, in line with the constitutional provision of 30 percent quota for woman in public positions. In this regard, we urge SRSG Honore to continue her good offices work in building consensus in paving the way forward for the presidential and legislative elections.

13. On a related note, we welcome the efforts towards steady strengthening of ‘rule of law’ institutions in Haiti, especially the strides made by the Haitian National Police (HNP). We are encouraged by the close cooperation and collaboration between HNP and MINUSTAH in terms of operational planning and training, as well as on joint operations and patrols in combating crime as well as election related violence.

14. No doubt, the current situation is extremely challenging for the interim administration including the security forces who are now faced with increased demands by the population; we hope that the safety, security and welfare of the civilian population especially of women, children, the disabled and elderly could be prioritized.

15. We welcome the ongoing implementation of the HNP’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan and note that drafting of the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan has also commenced. We see this as crucial steps towards assessing needs and identifying areas to further strengthen HNP so that it may fully assume its responsibilities, particularly after the drawdown or exit of MINUSTAH.

16. In this regard, we could support the Secretary General’s recommendation to extend MINUSTAH’s mandate by 6 months. At the same time, we are of the view that the Secretariat could undertake initial, preparatory work on the future presence and role of the UN in Haiti soon, on the understanding that a full strategic assessment would take place after the inauguration of the new President.

Mr. President,

17. In concluding, I wish to once again express my delegation’s utmost appreciation to SRSG Honoré, the entire MINUSTAH team as well as the UN country team for their tirelessness and selflessness in spearheading the international community’s relief and assistance efforts in Haiti. They have our utmost gratitude and respect.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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