ANWAR IBRAHIM, Prime Minister of Malaysia, said that major Powers, and those that aspire to greater international status, are increasingly casting the United Nations aside. “We are living in a deeply polarized world,” he stressed. The ideals and principles enshrined in the UN Charter call upon nations to resolve their disputes through peaceful means, and refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of any State. “We condemn unequivocally the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he went on to say, adding that the conflict underscores the urgent need to make peace and settle differences amicably through negotiations. He also urged for a concerted multilateral effort led by the United Nations to resolve the conflict. “We cannot choose our neighbours, but we can choose to live in peace with them,” he added.
The extent of the Ukraine conflict has radiated throughout the world, as food prices have skyrocketed, leading to shortages, hunger, further malnutrition and despair, he stressed. In the Middle East, the politics of dispossession continue with a vengeance, with more illegal settlements being built, stripping Palestinians of land that rightfully belongs to them. This constitutes a gross violation of international law. It also poses an obstacle to a two-State solution. On Afghanistan, Malaysia remains deeply concerned with the dire humanitarian situation in that country. This is especially so given that Afghanistan is grappling with its third consecutive year of drought and a devastating locust infestation that severely undermined its wheat harvest. He further called on the authority of Afghanistan to reverse discriminatory policies against women and girls. “Denying the right to go to school is a violation of the teachings of Islam,” he stressed.
Malaysia is also “deeply horrified” by the continued violence and instability in Myanmar. “The barbarism and depravity inflicted upon the people of Myanmar is indefensible,” he stressed. Malaysia calls on Myanmar to immediately implement the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Five-Point Consensus towards achieving peace and stability. Turning to climate change, he said that his country is witnessing the adverse impacts of the scourge with increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, intensified monsoons and erratic weather patterns. He called on developed countries to fulfil the commitment of mobilizing $100 billion a year to support the climate ambitions of developing countries.
Moreover, the global economy is projected to continue to be weighed down by geopolitical uncertainties, supply chain disruptions and increases in commodity prices, he said. This has widened the gap between economic growth and income, leading to continuous disparity. “The contrast lies starkly in the things that matter: food on the table, shelter, access to quality education, health care,” he said. Further, he expressed concern over the “emergence of a new form of racism”. Malaysia is appalled by the legitimization of these acts under the feeble defence of human rights. “Qur’an burnings are nothing but a clear Islamophobic act intended to incite hatred,” he stressed.
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