H.E. SYED MOHAMAD HASRIN AIDID
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAYSIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE FIRST COMMITTEE OF THE
75TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 19 OCTOBER 2020
I join others in congratulating you on your election as Chair of First Committee.
2. Malaysia aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of NAM and by Vietnam on behalf of ASEAN.
3. While the international community undertakes efforts to invest in and sustain peace, the world continues to witness the alarming deterioration of the disarmament and arms control architecture, whereby existing instruments are rescinded and some in danger of termination.
4. The challenges to the contemporary global security environment are further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, at the same time, the pandemic has proven that multilateral cooperation is central in any global efforts. The uncertainties we face in current times warrant concrete and urgent progress in arms control and disarmament.
5. On this note, Malaysia underscores once again the need for all states to work together to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the disarmament machinery, which includes the First Committee, the CD and the UN Disarmament Commission.
7. Attaining a nuclear-weapon-free-world has been a longstanding desire of the international community since the inaugural UN General Assembly in 1946.
8. Malaysia reaffirms that the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the assurance that they will never be produced again, is the only absolute guarantee against the catastrophic humanitarian consequences arising from their use.
9. As the cornerstone of the global nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation regime, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons has been instrumental in supporting international efforts to curtail the threats posed by nuclear weapons and their proliferation.
10. The 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the NPT this year, as well as its 25th anniversary of its indefinite extension, should provide States Parties with a strong impetus for the tangible and much-needed progress.
11. The 10th Review Conference of the NPT presents a timely opportunity for States Parties to undertake a comprehensive review and assessment of the implementation of their obligations and past commitments of the Treaty across its three pillars. Malaysia stands ready to work with all States Parties towards achieving a meaningful outcome of the Review Conference.
12. Malaysia recently deposited its instrument of ratification to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 30 September 2020. Ratifying the TPNW is a testament of our unwavering commitment and support towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, and Malaysia’s tangible effort in advancing this longstanding goal.
13. The TPNW complements and strengthens international law on nuclear disarmament. The Treaty will further reinforce the norm that nuclear weapons are unacceptable, should not be used, should not be threatened to be used and need to be discarded and destroyed as soon as possible. We are pleased that the TPNW is close to achieving the requisite number of ratifications and look forward to its early entry into force.
14. The entry into force of the CTBT is fundamental to the systematic progress towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. Malaysia calls upon all States, particularly the Annex 2 States, to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible.
15. With regard to the START Treaty, Malaysia welcomes the ongoing dialogue between the United States and the Russian Federation, and calls on both sides to extend the New START, in the interest of the collective security for all.
16. As in the past, Malaysia is pleased to present before the First Committee its traditional resolution entitled “Follow-Up to the Advisory Opinion of the ICJ on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons”. We count on the continued support of partners to co-sponsor the draft resolution, and welcome other States to consider co-sponsoring it.
17. Malaysia is firmly committed to the full and effective implementation of the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty. We underscore the urgent need to resolve all outstanding issues in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Treaty pertaining to the signing and ratification of its Protocol at the earliest. This is in line with the aspirations of the ASEAN Leaders, as reflected in the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025.
18. As per the Joint Communique of the 53rd ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting of 9 September 2020, Malaysia will continue to work with other ASEAN Member States to move the process forward. We are also committed to working constructively with fellow ASEAN Member States on the submission of the biennial SEANWFZ Resolution to this Committee at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in 2021, following the last substantive submission in 2015.
19. Malaysia welcomes the convening of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction in November 2019 and hopes for more progress to be made in this regard.
21. With regard to the Korean Peninsula, Malaysia remains concerned over the developments in relation to the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. We stress the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all concerned parties in order to realise lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. This would require the full and expeditious implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions and agreements reached among concerned parties.
22. On the JCPOA, we regret the status of its implementation and call on all parties to refrain from undertaking any actions that would further undermine the agreement. We also emphasise the importance of continued adherence to the JCPOA by all parties concerned.
23. Malaysia condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances. The use of such weapons is abhorrent and a flagrant violation of international law, especially the Chemical Weapons Convention. Those responsible for the deployment of such weapons must be held accountable.
24. Malaysia supports the efforts by the international community to promote universal adherence to the Biological Weapons Convention and compliance with its provisions. To this end, we are of the view that effective verification measures should be put in place to strengthen the BWC.
25. We will continue to work closely with other States Parties to promote concrete and specific actions in strengthening the implementation of the BWC and CWC.
26. Malaysia remains deeply concerned over a wide range of security, humanitarian and socio-economic consequences arising from the illicit manufacture, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons. We encourage all Member States to implement stringent national legislation and guidelines to combat the proliferation of SALW. We also underscore the need for balanced, full and effective implementation of the Programme of Action and the International Tracing Instrument.
27. There is no doubt of the growing exploitation of ICTs for malicious purposes in every sector and society, which increases in frequency, precision and sophistication. Our shared experience from the recent global pandemic suggests possible negative trends in the digital domain that could undermine international security and stability.
28. Malaysia is enhancing national efforts in addressing cyber risks and threats from both the operational and policy perspectives as a means to increase its expertise, capacities and capabilities in this field.
29. We welcome the efforts of the OEWG and the GGE, and their productive discussions in the area of information and telecommunications in the context of international security.
31. On outer space, Malaysia reiterates the importance of an inalienable right of all States to explore and use outer space for the benefit of all humanity. Its use must be carried out in accordance with fundamental principles of international law and in line with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We reaffirm that the prevention of an arms race in outer space and its weaponization is of vital importance.
32. In conclusion, with the growing complexities of global challenges, there is a clear need to preserve and strengthen the UN disarmament machinery and other related multilateral and bilateral mechanisms. Malaysia reiterates its readiness to continue constructive engagement in the work of the First Committee at this session.
I thank you.