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MALAYSIA UPHOLDS THAT ACCESS TO CLEAN, HEALTHY, AND SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT IS A HUMAN RIGHT
Access to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a human right that needs to be protected and promoted. Malaysia upheld
that position when it co-sponsored a resolution at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) on 8 October 2021 in Geneva. The
Resolution was a first for the Council; in establishing a clear and direct linkage between a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment with
human rights. Malaysia also co-sponsored a related HRC resolution that establishes the position of a Special Rapporteur to promote and
protect human rights globally in the context of climate change.
Malaysia welcomed the HRC Resolution that highlight the human rights implications of environmental damage and climate change faced by
individuals and communities around the world, especially on vulnerable groups, including the indigenous peoples, older persons, persons
with disabilities, and women. By supporting the Resolution, Malaysia acknowledged that environmental degradation, climate change and
unsustainable development constitute some of the most pressing and serious threats to the ability of present and future generations to
enjoy human rights, including the right to life, the rights to health, development, housing, water and food.
Malaysia’s priority in addressing climate change is part of the country’s pledges for its candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council for the
term 2022-2024, at elections to be held in New York on 14 October 2021. It is also in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025), as
recently unveiled by YAB Prime Minister towards a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable growth for all.
The 12th Malaysia Plan aspires to advance green growth by implementing clean, green and resilient development agenda through a whole-
of-nation approach. As Malaysia commits to conserve planetary health and aspires to become a carbon neutral nation by 2050 at the
earliest, priority will be given to low-carbon and climate-resilient sosio-economic development, as well as conservation of natural resources
and ecosystems. The 12th Malaysia Plan is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, representing Malaysia’s commitment
in implementing the 17 goals of the Sustainable Development Goals.
As called by the Resolution, Malaysia aims to play its part in implementing this newly recognised right, including by building capacities as part of
the efforts to protect the environment and adopt appropriate policies to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystems, in line with the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development. Towards this end, Malaysia pledges to work closely with other countries, international and regional organisations, civil
society, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), the academia, and the corporate sector, in securing a better future for the next
DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH
12 OCTOBER 2021