H.E. SYED MOHD HASRIN AIDID
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAYSIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE THIRD COMMITTEE
OF THE 75TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 7 OCTOBER 2020
1. Allow me to extend my congratulations to you and to the members of the Bureau on your election. I assure you of Malaysia’s full support and cooperation during this important session.
2. Malaysia aligns itself with the statement delivered by Guyana on behalf of G77 and China, Azerbaijan on behalf of NAM and the ASEAN statement.
3. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted not only our public health system but also our socio – economic institutions and particularly our people, straining existing resources as well as requiring urgent mobilisation of additional resources. The Malaysian Government has proactively taken several initiatives to stimulate and boost the economy, which include an Economic Stimulus Package worth RM250 billion with a focus on preserving the welfare of Malaysian citizens, supporting businesses and strengthening the economy.
4. On women and girls, Malaysia has implemented gender-responsive policies under the stimulus packages, which include cash assistance for single mothers, childcare subsidies and flexible work arrangements. The Government is also cognisant of the rise in gender-based violence and took measures to safeguard and protect women by setting up helplines, online advocacy, shelters and provide counselling services. Special attention has also been given to address the impact of emotional, physical stress and mental health including for frontliners.
5. Although Malaysia is currently not a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, the Government continues to provide assistance to ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum- seekers’ on humanitarian grounds and cooperate with the UNHCR on a case-by-case basis. However, the large influx of illegal immigrants into Malaysia has increased exponentially over the years, amounting to almost 200,000 registered refugees. Such large numbers is of concern to Malaysia, owing to the slow resettlement process. We wish to emphasise the need for proportionate burden and responsibility sharing and calls on the signatory countries of the 1951 Convention, to uphold their commitment to international legal obligations to receive more refugees for resettlement or relocation.
6. Malaysia continues to holds the view that human rights concerns should be addressed constructively and respect the principles of sovereignty and non-interference. In Malaysia, the exercise of certain rights and freedoms are curtailed only insofar as to prevent its abuse or misuse in a manner which would infringe upon the enjoyment by other individuals of those same rights. Malaysia strongly believes that full respect must be provided to any sovereign state to decide on its internal affairs.
7. At a time where unity and solidarity is seen crucial, it is sad that we are witnessing a rise in racism, hate speech, religious discrimination, xenophobia, including Islamophobia during the pandemic. Malaysia strongly condemns all acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance in all its forms and manifestations, as they are against the very tenets of human rights and human equality.
8. Malaysia believes in the need for international solidarity to combat such acts, including the defamation of religion and faith. We call upon the international community to celebrate diversity and come together despite our differences in religion and faith including through interfaith dialogue.
9. Malaysia concurs that addressing transnational crime is crucial to the protection and promotion of human rights and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly Goal 16. It is important that we remain vigilant to new and emerging forms of transnational crime.
10. We look forward to the convening of the 14th Crime Congress in Kyoto next year and its focus on advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law.
11. Malaysia’s statement would be incomplete without mention of the plight of the Palestinian people. Malaysia remains strongly committed to supporting the efforts to protecting and promoting human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.
12. Malaysia urges Israel to end human rights violations, such as those committed by the Israeli security forces and illegal settlers against the Palestinians. This must not remain unaddressed. Israel has an obligation to investigate violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law to prosecute those deemed responsible.
13. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia has called on the need to come together in solidarity and unity, to coordinate our efforts and expedite the development of effective tools and vaccines to stop the spread of the pandemic and in ensuring the implementation of all SDGs. The role of the United Nations, including the World Health Organisation remains one of our strongest modalities to curb the impact of the pandemic on humanity. Despite the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, Malaysia is confident that this pandemic has brought opportunities, above all, the commitment to keep multilateralism alive and relevant.
I thank you.