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THE HONOURABLE DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA
HIGH-LEVEL PLENARY MEETING OF
THE 73rd UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
‘NELSON MANDELA PEACE SUMMIT’
NEW YORK, 24 SEPTEMBER 2018
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Malaysia joins other speakers in commending you for convening this landmark Nelson Mandela Peace Summit. We align ourselves with the statements delivered by Singapore, on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), and by Venezuela, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
2. We commend both Permanent Representatives of South Africa and Ireland for facilitating the political declaration that was adopted this morning. The comprehensive, transparent and inclusive approach by the co-facilitators, as well as the flexibility by all delegations during the negotiations, surely befit the legacy of a great man whom we are all gathered today to commemorate.
3. Malaysia welcomes the political declaration honouring the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. We remember him for his struggle and personal sacrifice in championing human rights for his people. We remember him for his strive for global peace. It may not be overzealous to say that the world is also indebted to Mr. Mandela for his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally, and the promotion of the culture of peace throughout the world.
4. Therefore, we join other Member States in paying tribute to Madiba, for his qualities of humility, forgiveness and compassion; his values and dedication to the service of humanity; and his dignified role as a humanitarian in the fields of conflict resolution and reconciliation, disarmament, race relations, gender equality, the rights of children, and other vulnerable groups.
5. This Peace Summit also offers the opportunity for us to revive the values for which Nelson Mandela stood by.
6. In order to ensure lasting peace and prevent conflicts around the globe, Malaysia believes that we should shift our focus to how we think about conflicts and how we address and solve conflicts around the world.
7. Sustaining peace initiatives must be built on a more coordinated, integrated and inclusive system-wide approach by all stakeholders, particularly UN bodies, regional and sub-regional organisations; civil societies; NGOs, including the participation of women and youth. We are also of the view that both sustaining peace efforts and the promotion of a culture of peace must be in line with the implementations of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in leaving no one behind.
8. In addition, Malaysia continues to reiterate the importance of addressing the root causes of conflicts; respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity; confront oppression; promote good governance and the rule of law; eradicate poverty; promote sustained economic growth; and improve intercultural understanding on the basis of mutual respect.
9. When Nelson Mandela first visited Malaysia in 1990, he was keen to hear our experiences in nation-building. Our country has recently concluded its 14th General Elections, where, just as in the historic South African elections in 1994, a new government has been empowered through the voice of the people.
10. And so I conclude by calling on all present here today to live up to Mandela’s spirit by committing to the noble cause of peace, with the courage, the determination and the will that we remember him by.
I thank you, Madam President.