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OUTCOME OF THE
WORKING VISIT BY YAB TUN DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA TO THE 74TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 24-28 SEPTEMBER 2019
YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, led Malaysia’s delegation to New York in conjunction with the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from 24 to 28 September 2019. YAB PM was accompanied by his spouse, YABhg Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Hj Mohd Ali; Minister of Foreign Affairs, YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah; Minister of Economic Affairs, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali; and, senior government officials.
YAB Prime Minister delivered Malaysia’s national statement during the General Debate of the 74th UNGA on 27 September 2019. YAB Prime Minister stressed on the need to reform the United Nations Security Council particularly the veto power. On this, YAB Prime Minister feels that the veto power should be modified if it cannot be done away with completely. YAB PM touched on the Palestine-Israeli conflict, the fate of the Rohingyas, and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which he hopes would be resolved by peaceful means. On the issue of palm oil, YAB Prime Minister said linking the production of palm oil to deforestation was baseless and unjustified. A key message of the national statement is for the international community to pay attention to climate change and natural disasters instead of preparing for war. YAB Prime Minister also touched on trade, sanctions and capitalism, as well as on selectivity in the application of the rule of law.
Apart from the General Debate, YAB Prime Minister participated in the High-Level Side Event entitled “Rohingya Crisis – A Way Forward”, in which he expressed hope that the international community would do more to end the misery that has befallen the Rohingyas. During SDG Summit Leaders Dialogue 6 on “The 2020-2030 Vision” and the Side Event on Environmental Stewardship in Addressing Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development for All, YAB Prime Minister stated that the 17 SDGs will continue to be embedded within Malaysia’s latest long-term plan of the Shared Prosperity Vision, 2021-2030.
While in New York, YAB Prime Minister attended a dialogue session at the World Leaders Forum in Columbia University and had a session with members of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also met renowned entrepreneurs and potential investors during the JP Morgan investor luncheon and the roundtable meeting with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) and the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC). He was interviewed by several international media organisations such as Wall Street Journal and Oxford Business Group.
YAB Prime Minister had bilateral meetings with H.E. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands and H.E. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan to discuss matters of mutual interest. He also had meetings with the CEOs of prominent international firms such as Google LLC, Boeing International and Motorola.
Meanwhile, YB Foreign Minister participated in the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage and a number of other ministerial-level meetings involving ASEAN, OIC, the Commonwealth as well as the Asia Cooperation Dialogue. He also participated as a panellist at the Ministerial side event jointly organised by Colombia and Peru entitled “United Nations General Assembly Special Session 2021 (UNGASS 2021) on Corruption: A Path Forward to Enhance and Strengthen the International Anti-Corruption Legal Framework”.
YB Foreign Minister held several meetings with his counterparts. YB Foreign Minister also met with Dr. Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General for the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and Ms. Ilhan Omar, Representative for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District (Democrats) in the US House of Representative.
Overall, Malaysia’s participation at the 74th UNGA successfully promoted the nation’s foreign policy agenda and priorities to the international community. Malaysia’s statement at the UNGA General Debate was also very well-received. This was evident by the applause received at the General Assembly Hall and the number of representatives from UN Member States that stepped forward to congratulate YAB PM after delivering the national statement.
True to its commitment as a responsible member of the international community, Malaysia would continue to support the central role of the UN as the most constructive multilateral platform in the maintenance of international peace and security.
29 September 2019