ISMAIL SABRI YAAKOB, Prime Minister of Malaysia, affirming his country’s commitment to recover from the deadly pandemic, stated that no one was safe unless everyone was safe. “We must fight this battle together,” he stressed, urging that the deep-rooted challenges of inequality, political instability and global governance be addressed in the spirit of a world family. He observed with regret that, despite all the efforts to curb the pandemic, the world was far from winning the war against the deadly virus. “Our relief that vaccines were developed in record time was quickly followed by distress at its discriminatory roll‑out,” he said, calling for a more effective health diplomacy by means of enhancing access of countries to relevant technology and knowledge.
He further noted that COVID-19 amplified pre-existing inequalities and set back many gains in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Consequently, Malaysia’s GDP contracted by 5.6 per cent — the worst decline in more than 20 years since the Asian financial crisis. He further detailed the efforts of his Government to address this unprecedented health crisis, including through the implementation of the National Recovery Plan.
“For Malaysia, mainstreaming sustainability is key in ensuring a smooth transition to a greener socioeconomic ecosystem,” he continued, outlining plans towards making his country a low‑carbon nation by 2050. He also underscored Malaysia’s support to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. As a multicultural, multiracial and multireligious country, Malaysia remains a strong proponent of multilateralism, he said, underlining the essential role of respect and mutual understanding in international discourse. “We should learn to celebrate and treat differences with genuine curiosity and meaningful respect,” he stated.
Addressing the situation in Myanmar and the Rohingya issue, he stressed that a peaceful solution must be found. Spotlighting the troubling refugee crisis, he pointed out that Malaysia hosts more than 154,000 refugees from Myanmar, comprising 86 per cent of the refugee population in the country. On the Palestinian issue, he stated that inhumane acts committed against the Palestinians over the years were tantamount to the crime of apartheid.
He also recalled the recent terrorist attack outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. “The region cannot be allowed to be turned into a fertile breeding ground for terrorism again,” he concluded, expressing readiness of his country to extend humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. On that note, he called on Member States to demonstrate openness, flexibility and political will in order to pursue the reform of the United Nations in the interest of international peace, security and prosperity.
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