H.E. SYED MOHD HASRIN TENGKU HUSSIN
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAYSIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE
OF THE 75TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, 9 OCTOBER 2020
“Building back better after COVID-19: ensuring a more equitable global economy, inclusive societies and sustainable development”
Malaysia congratulates you as Chair and other members of the Bureau on your election.
2. My delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered respectively by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Guyana, on behalf of G77 and China, and the Permanent Representative of Vietnam, on behalf of ASEAN.
3. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great disruption to the world and has impacted not only our public health system, but also the economy and social institutions of our country.
4. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the global economy would contract sharply by 3% in 2020, much worse than during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. A quicker global economic recovery would only be possible with a free and fair multilateral trading architecture. In this context, Malaysia also welcomes the ongoing efforts to revitalise the WTO to ensure that it remains responsive to Members’ needs, and to the current global challenges.
5. Domestically, Malaysia has put in place structural economic reforms to address the negative impact of the COVID-19 onslaught. We have begun the implementation of economic recovery strategies, followed by an all-inclusive economic revitalisation programme.
6. Malaysia will continue to seek for improved market access for our goods and services, and at the same time, attract foreign direct investments to reboot and sustain our economy. Therefore, it is imperative that the UN system remains at the centre of the global economic governance structure in achieving sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth.
7. The COVID-19 pandemic not only disrupt efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but has also reversed decades of gains made towards achieving the Goals.
8. Therefore, while mitigating the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, Malaysia continues to support the accelerated actions and transformative pathways of SDGs, which have been embedded into our five-yearly national development plans.
9. We also remain steadfast in mobilising efforts with other countries, consistent with our national capability, to (i) end all forms of poverty, (ii) fight inequalities, (iii) tackle climate change, and (iv) battle the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic including through the South-South Cooperation to ensure that no one is left behind.
10. Malaysia also believes that the pandemic must be treated as a turning point. It is important for the entire international community to reflect on our relationships with the nature. In this respect, Malaysia remains unswerving in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, protecting natural habitats and pursuing sustainable practices. Thus far, Malaysia has reduced its carbon emission intensity of its GDP to 33%.
11. Our development plans have always been geared towards sustainability - both for the environment and for the living. Malaysia is committed to produce certified sustainable palm oil, with efforts such as through the mandatory certification scheme of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO). Further, Malaysia has over 60 national laws and regulations, covering the protection of wildlife and the environment; health; the safety and welfare of workers; and control of pollutants.
12. Malaysia has also managed to retain 55% of our rainforests, exceeding 5% of our commitment at the 1992 Rio Conference. We also host one of the oldest rainforests in the world - the Royal Belum, which is estimated to be over 130 million years old.
13. Malaysia also cares for its wildlife. Most of Malaysia’s nearly 13,000 orangutans live in protected forests in Sabah and Sarawak, the two Malaysian states on the Borneo Island. About 55 years ago, Malaysia established the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, a worldwide leader in orangutan care.
14. Equally important is the support by the UN system, especially in addressing the unprecedented global challenges posed by COVID-19. We believe the QCPR would provide a critical opportunity to guide the UNDS in helping Member States build back better, and accelerate actions towards a sustainable, resilient and inclusive development, aligned with the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, Malaysia looks forward to the negotiations on the 2020 QCPR during this Session.
15. The global state we are facing is more challenging than ever. We need to build back better for our peoples, not just for now but also for generations to come. Malaysia remains committed to working closely with all stakeholders in ensuring a more equitable global economy, inclusive societies and sustainable development.
I thank you.