ASEAN support Wisma Putra for UN Security Council seat

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman is the last formal engagement with ASEAN foreign ministers, Brunei 30 June 2013

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman at the last formal engagement with ASEAN foreign ministers, Brunei 30 June 2013

“One Vision, One Identity, One Community”. That is the motto for Association of South East Asian Nations and has prevailed in their support for Malaysia’s as nation-candidate in the non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council for the term 2015-16.

28 September 2013| last updated at 08:18PM

Malaysia is Asean’s candidate for non-permanent member of UN Security Council

By SHARIF HARON in NEW YORK
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NEW YORK: Malaysia is now Asean’s official candidate for a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2015-2016.

The endorsement by Asean members was obtained at the Informal Meeting of the Asean Foreign Ministers, held on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on Saturday.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman attended the informal meeting.

A statement issued by his ministry said the endorsement is significant to Malaysia.

“With it, Malaysia is now Asean’s official candidate for the post. This would help raise the profile of our candidacy and would be the basis of the endorsement by the wider Asian region,” it said.

It added: “We will continue our efforts to ensure that Malaysia will receive the highest possible number of votes during the elections for this post, which is scheduled to be held in October next year in New York.

“These efforts include holding bilateral meetings with our counterparts who are also present in New York.”

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Malaysian Armed Forces as UN peacekeepers aka 'Blue Berets'

Men and women of the Malaysian Armed Forces as UN peacekeepers aka ‘Blue Berets’

The confidence is reflective of Malaysia’s consistent foreign policy on international affairs such as the initiatives of peace process in the West Asia and a permanent solution for the Palestinians. the consultative approach and engagements to resolve the multiple claims in South China Sea and the more recent, the Syrian civil war. Malaysia’s stance and roles in international conflict which include participation as part of the ‘blue beret contingent’ also serve as a testimony for the membership.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Malaysia from 4-6 October 2013 and some bi-lateral issues would be concluded. President Xi would be in Kuala Lumpur 4-5 October and in Kota Kinabalu 5-6 October.

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 5.14.50 AM

Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Anifah Aman provided a strong leadership for the Malaysian Government and a stream of professional team of international politics and diplomatic corps, who have been consistent in their engagements at their respective levels in the region and international forums.

All these have been carried out in formal or informal meetings.

Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Anifah Aman addressing the UN General Assembly

The informal between of ASEAN foreign ministers during the current 68th UN General Assembly is a demonstration how the on going work to lobby Malaysia’s candidacy at the UN Security Council.

Foreign Minister Anifah has been working hard to achieve Malaysia being elected in the world’s most strategic forum for international conflict.

Published: Tuesday May 21, 2013 MYT 5:33:00 PM
Updated: Thursday August 1, 2013 MYT 5:36:14 PM

Malaysia to work hard for UN Security Council seat

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will go all out to secure a seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2015-2016 term so that the country can play a part in international security issues.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Tuesday that although he was confident that Asean member states would support Malaysia, considering it was the only Asean state contesting, the votes of other countries were equally important.

“We must not take it for granted. We have to work very hard and we have to engage and meet leaders from various countries to secure the seat, but I am quite confident that Malaysia has a very good name globally,” he told reporters here.

Anifah said the seat in UNSC would send a strong message of peace and the right to co-exist.

On another matter, he said it was also important for the ministry to clear Malaysia’s name abroad, since there were some people who tarnished and smeared the country’s good image through relentless allegations and negative tactics, especially on the recently-concluded general election.

On the 21 Malaysians detained in Singapore for staging a protest over the general election results, he said the law of the country should be respected but it was the duty of the ministry to assist if it was needed.

On the visit of United States President Barack Obama in October, Anifah said, while there were indications he was coming, it had to be re-confirmed since his schedule might be changed due to internal problems.

He said Malaysia was looking forward to enhance the country’s relations with its neighbours, including Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

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Malaysia is bidding against Fiji to represent the Asia-Pacific Group. The election is set during the 69th UN General Assembly in October 2014. The term, will commence from 1 January 2015 for two years.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action. Its powers are exercised through United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Previous, Malaysia served as UNSC member during 1965, 1989-1990 and 1999-2000 terms.

*Updated 1330hrs

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s engagement approach and middle-path and moderate interpretation of Islam is translated in his speech at 68th UN General Assembly.

28 September 2013| last updated at 11:53PM

Full text of Najib’s speech at UN General Assembly

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The full text of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib’s speech at the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York tonight.

Mr President,

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by congratulating you, Mr President, on your election. I offer you Malaysia’s full cooperation and support as you seek to further the cause of peace and prosperity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Three years ago, I stood before you and called for a Global Movement of Moderates. It was a call to reject extremism in all its forms.

Because the real divide is not between East and West or between the developed and developing worlds or between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

It is between moderates and extremists of all religions.

Much has changed since 2010. Then, a current of protest and reform surged through the Middle East and North Africa.

Out of the heat of the Arab Spring, new questions arose: about the pace of democratic change, about the role of Islam in politics, and about the need for more inclusive development.

But the search for answers to those questions has been put on hold.

As authoritarian regimes have fallen, and governments have been swept away by political change, extremists have tried to fill the space that remains.

Motivated by ideology, politics and religion, they have sought refuge from the hard work of development in the unholy practice of violence.

Conflicts have spilled across borders, inflaming old tensions, and igniting new ones. Around the world, extremism is taking lives and crushing opportunity.

This affects us all; but it is one people, of one faith, who suffer most. I believe the greatest threat to Muslims today comes not from the outside world, but from within.

The conflict between Sunni and Shia threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of Muslims. Our religion – founded on peace, and premised on tolerance – is being twisted by extremists, who are deploying false arguments to foster division and justify violence.

Across the Islamic world, extremists are wrapping their perverse agenda in religious cloth; tearing families, countries and the ummah apart.

With each new atrocity, tensions are wound tighter, and peace seems further away.

The corrosive influence of extremism cannot be easily countered. But we are not powerless to act. I believe moderation in religion and the political process can stem the loss of life and liberty in the Muslim world.

Behind the tragic violence, there is a battle being waged for the future of Islam. By reaffirming our commitment to moderation – and solving the political problems that drive instability – we can seize back the centre ground.

We can marginalise the extremists. And we can advance an agenda for peace, harmony and justice.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Around the world, Muslims have watched in despair as conflict tears into some of our oldest communities. Rarely in our history has the ummah faced violence on this scale.

Right now, the world’s attention is rightly focused on Syria. United Nations investigators have concluded that the focus of the war has shifted along ethnic and religious lines, and become ‘overtly sectarian’.

A conflict which began with anti-government protests threatens to descend into a war of ethnic cleansing.

With fighters from Hezbollah engaging on Syrian soil, the conflict now threatens Lebanon too.

Last month, after car bombs killed dozens in Beirut, 42 people died in explosions outside Sunni mosques.

Communities are dividing along religious lines, with hard-line preachers urging violence between Sunni and Shia.

Meanwhile, the security situation in Iraq continues to unravel, as Sunni extremist groups and Shia militia struggle for control.

In the last four months, nearly 3,000 people have been killed. In the last week alone, three funerals have been bombed in Baghdad. Women and children have been blown apart whilst mourning.

Again, the violence is carried out between Sunni and Shia. In one Iraqi town, four children from one Shia family were slain with knives.

In another, local people – neighbours for generations – have built blast walls to keep themselves apart. Forced displacements are growing.=

In Pakistan, bombings have wrecked the city of Quetta, killing hundreds. Revenge attacks spread to Lahore; bombs have been detonated in Karachi.

In August, militants ambushed buses, dividing the passengers according to belief; those who answered incorrectly were executed.

Each of these conflicts has a distinct cause, but they follow a darkly familiar path.

Emboldened by political failures, radical preachers and militant groups turn civil conflicts into wider religious wars. Yet the preaching of such violence is completely counter to the Islamic faith.

The Quran not only condemns suicide, unjust war, and retribution by force; it also makes clear the Prophet’s desire for Muslims to live in peace with one another and their neighbours.

Verse 8:61 says, ‘And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah’. Verse 5:32, that ‘whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely’. And verse 2:256 holds that ‘there shall be no compulsion in religion’.

It should come as no surprise that there is no scriptural basis for the atrocities being committed in the name of Islam. Under the six higher objectives of Islamic law, the first and foremost is the protection and preservation of life.

Yet even during Ramadan, our holy month – when contemplation, devotion and compassion reign uppermost in Muslim minds – the extremists would not stop. More than 4,400 people died this Ramadan in Syria; 371 in Iraq; 120 in Pakistan.

This is a burden we can no longer afford to bear. It is time to end the killing, and concentrate instead on building a common agenda for peace and prosperity. There are two things we can do.

First of all, I believe that peace-loving Muslims – the overwhelming majority of Muslims – should unite against the extremists who use our religion as an excuse to commit violence.

And one of the most powerful tools we have to do so is al-wasatiyyah: the practice of moderation.

Verse 2:143 of the Quran says that ‘we have made you into a community that is justly balanced’. This concept – of balance and moderation, of social justice within our faith – is a central tenet of Islam. It asks of us that we hold to the principles displayed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Medina Charter.

Our task is to reclaim our faith, by articulating clearly the true nature of Islam: the religion of peace, of moderation, of tolerance.

We should speak this message clearly, so that all may hear it; and stand firm against the minority who use Islam to further violent and unjust ends.

We should not mistake moderation for weakness. To face those baying for violence and call instead for calm is a sign not of frailty, but of strength.

Muslim leaders should speak up and condemn such violence, lest their silence is mistaken for acceptance.

Moderation can be practiced at the national level, as is the case in Malaysia, by choosing mutual respect and inclusivity, and strengthening the bonds between different communities and faiths.

All countries should reinforce their commitment to the principles of moderation; not just in religion, but for sustainable development and stable economic growth.

Moderation can also direct regional policy. It sits at the heart of Malaysia’s efforts to bring peace to the southern Philippines, and to Thailand’s restive south.

And ASEAN, which endorsed the Global Movement of Moderates, has made a commitment to peaceful settlement and the non use of force in territorial disputes.

And at the international level, moderation can guide our approach to the great global challenges of our age: violent extremism, sustainable development, and equitable growth.

Secondly, we should give our all to resolve the political problems which raise tensions in the Muslim world – starting with Syria.

We cannot underline strongly enough the need for a Syrian-led inclusive political process.

Malaysia is against any unilateral action to resolve the conflict. All sides must come together to work out a political settlement.

We welcome the recent US-Russia Framework Agreement, condemn without reservation the use of chemical weapons, and call on the international community to intensify their efforts to explore all possible diplomatic options for peace under the auspices of the UN.

We must also find the vision and the political will to commit to a just solution for Palestine.

We fervently hope that progress towards a viable Palestinian state – based on pre-1967 borders, and with East Jerusalem as its capital – will be made, and that the US and other members of the Quartet continue to play their role as honest brokers in the process.

Only with peace can there be development and dignity for the Palestinian people.

Finally, we should continue to focus on building stronger and more prosperous societies, predicated on the rule of law and the practice of democracy.

The Arab Spring showed that the Muslim world is crying out for change. Governments must answer that call.

We must provide good governance to fight corruption, create jobs to tackle poverty, and deliver sustainable growth that builds a world of opportunity for our citizens.

We must create economies in which people can fulfil their own aspirations, not those of extremists.

By acting to solve our most difficult political problems, we can bring an end to the immediate suffering – in Syria, in Palestine, and in the wider world.

By committing to the cause of moderation, Muslims can secure something even greater.

We can reclaim our religion, choosing harmony and acceptance over division and conflict.

And we can broadcast a vision of Islam as it is understood by Muslims around the world: as a religion of peace, tolerance, and moderation.

Last month, when militants attacked those buses in Pakistan, a 19 year-old Sunni student named Ghulam Mustafa stood up for such a vision.

Confronting the Sunni gunmen, he said killing Shiites was wrong.

Ghulam was shot dead, but his life was not lost in vain.

With guns to their heads, the Sunnis on the bus refused to identify the Shia passengers who the gunmen wanted to kill.

In their defiance, we see the true measure of courage, and the true test of faith.

Under unimaginable pressure, facing the greatest possible threat, they chose to stand with their brothers and sisters. They chose unity over division.

Faced with unimaginable pressure, and the greatest possible threat, we must summon the will to do the same.

Thank you.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak delivering the National Statement at the 68th United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) General Debate here today. –fotoBERNAMA (2013) COPYRIGHT RESERVED

Read more: Full text of Najib’s speech at UN General Assembly – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/full-text-of-najib-s-speech-at-un-general-assembly-1.364884?cache=03%2F7.226542#ixzz2gG1yUnVO

Published in: on September 29, 2013 at 02:00  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. No offence intended, and before commenting on the post topic, wanna say that the women soldiers in the photo are pretty and good looking.

    I’m proud of them. And our men soldiers, too.

    I must say being in the Security Council does not mean much as the veto power rests with the Big 5. You can shout to your hearts’ content but one nyet or boh esai makes it almost pangsai. Yeah, yeah it’s not that easy and diplomacy is made of bigger stuff than that, but that’s it in the final analysis, isn’t it?

    And I still don’t understand why China was made one – they were not a major fighting force against the enemies in the Far East and Europe in the last war. Too lazy to google.

    But it does show recognition of our country playing a leadership role in Asean and gets known the world over – so long as we keep speaking up, not spending time at Khazanah offices in San Francisco or at the Waldorf Astoria and such posh hotels too much.

  2. We should not be too confident as far as ASEAN support is concern. Remember this is only an informal meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers, nothing concrete just yet.

    China have no qualm dispensing (bribing?) aids and “cooperation” with countries deemed to be favorable to their own interest. They did the same to Cambodia in return for Cambodia help in ensuring the unprecedented non-issuance of a joint statement at the end of the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. It will take a long time for Cambodia to regain trust from fellow ASEAN member.

    Lets also not forget the Defense Minister infamous “Just because you have enemies, doesn’t mean your enemies are my enemies” statement which may not be that easily forgiven or forgotten by other ASEAN members.

    With this kind of attitude can we be certain of ASEAN support in our bid for a seat in UNSC?

    It is an open secret how Chinese senior officials and diplomats warn, threatened and coerce our senior officials and diplomats behind every closed door meetings that touch on the South China Sea issue.

    I guest the next question is how far are we willing to tango with China and at what cost?

  3. It is the practice of ASEAN to endorse and support the candidature of one of its members vying for a UN or other international organisations post, provided there is only one ASEAN member country vying for that post. The next step is for Malaysia to do an intensive and extensive lobbying. This will be the most crucial and critical stage. The numbers of pledges for support from as many countrues will be sought. This too is not an easy task that must be undertaken by our diplomats around the world with their host governments. The 1st time Malaysia was voted into the UNSC as a non permanent member was during the tenure ship of Tun M. Malaysia got quite high number of votes and also at that time Malaysia was highly respected for its bold but pragmatic foreign policy. All the developing countries from Asia to Africa to Latin America and the South Pacific admired Tun M and the issues Malaysia raised in the UN such as the Antarctica – Common Heritage of Mankind, the Palestinian – Israeli conflict, South-South Cooperation, the 1st.Iraq war, Bosnian war and many more. That was then when Malaysia was looked up to by developing countries to champion issues that affect developing countries and the hegemonic nature of the west in particular the US. I don’t think Malaysia could ever reclaim the glory and excellence of its standing in the eyes of the world like it use to be under Tun M. Regardless, all the best to Malaysia and sure hope we’d get to sit in the UNSC again as a non-permanent member. Sure, the veto power of the P5 tends to nullify the efforts of the non-permanent members but at least being in
    the UNSC gives us a chance to intervene in the draft resolutions and decision making process on security issues of importance to the international community.

    • * like it used to be under Tun M*

  4. I also feel that for developing and small countries, foreign policy is merely an adjunct to persuading, protesting and facilitating our trade, aid and whatever arrangement we can get with foreign countries that fulfill or development needs.

    We are not in a position to twist anybody’s arms, block anybody’s bad intentions to our country or our region, not much influence like big powers have. Like VARUNA says above, the Chinese officials and diplomats will likely behave like the DAP try to do – “warn, threatened and coerce our senior officials and diplomats behind every closed door meetings that touch on the South China Sea issue.” That disgusts me and nothing we can do except to grin and bear it.

    Rather than spend so much time and money trying to lobby for support for membership of the UNSC when our international standing is not that solid and our PM does not have the stature of Tun Dr Mahathir, I would rather we spend it on consciously and deliberately building a strong relationship with a world power like the US that can help us not to be bullied, for example, by China.

    I think these days nobody speaks of “non-aligned movement” or being accused as “imperialist running dogs” like during Mao Zedong’s time. Yes, fine, let’s continue having the ASEAN arrangement where it does not hinder our overall national interest, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that ASEAN can thwart China from any acts or grand designs they may have in South China Sea.

    So, I say let’s go with TPPA and whatever China Containment arrangement there can be with a Super Power, focus and spend the time, human resources and money on getting the best possible deals from such groupings. Naive? I don’t think so. Instead, thinking ASEAN or a seat as a non-permanent member on UNSC can help us against being bullied by China is naive.

    • It’s the “deterrent factor” – to deter others from bullying us. We don’t have any nuclear bombs, chemical, biological or any WMD. Israel with a nuclear arsenal still always tries to be under US arm pits. .

    • Have we taken any stand yet as far as “Containment of China” is concerned?

      Najib is soon having the US President and, later, the Chinese President, in town.

  5. Commenting on the speech by PM on moderation, well he raised issues that are so deep seated in sectarian and ideological clashes. It is this very nature of unattended hate and ill feelings amongst the factions and antagonists for decades even centuries, that a call for moderation may just be wishful thinking. It is one thing to outline ideas on moderation, but it is another to digest the horrendous reality on the ground. If moderation could work, it would have worked a long time ago. It is not a novelty idea at all. But sectarian conflicts and ideological clashes are not incidentals but a fixed paradigm that will be hard to unravel and change. Of course we should not just do nothing, but solutions to ideological clashes and sectarian divides may never occur because it is about a belief that one ideology or one sect is the only correct ideology and the only correct sect.


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