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The Department of Multilateral Affairs's main objectives are to protect, enhance, develop and pursue Malaysia's interests at the international arena. These include the maintenance of international peace, the protection of human rights and security issues.
The role of diplomatic representation expanded greatly following the formation of the United Nations and subsequent international organisations in the 1940s and 1960s such as the Commonwealth, OIC and NAM.
The need for nation states to discuss issues of global importance such as security, epidemics, famine, energy, climate change and human rights has led to the expanded role of multilateral relations. Malaysia is a member of various international organisations that demands its constant participation in the interest of protecting Malaysia's sovereign right and respect for international law and order.