Saturday, October 18, 2014

Malaysia: Winning UNSC seat an endorsement of our foreign policy

NEW YORK: THE resounding support for Malaysia as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reflects the international community’s acceptance of Malaysia’s foreign policy.

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said it was also an endorsement of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership.

While Malaysia notched a credible achievement, Anifah said the seat also came with a heavy responsibility for Malaysia to deliver.

The 187 nations that had supported Malaysia, especially the smaller countries, want Malaysia to continue being vocal on issues of common interest.

“The expectations are high and we are ready to assume the role. Our people here are ready to face the challenges.

“It is a heavy responsibility and we will not shirk away from it. That is the least that they can expect of Malaysia.”

Anifah said United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon had called him to express how pleased he was that Malaysia had won and wanted the message conveyed to Najib.

“He said he is looking forward to working closely with us and believes Malaysia can contribute positively.

“He also believes Malaysia will be an important member of the UNSC, as our experience and stand on issues could be very helpful in discussions.”

Anifah said Malaysia had also been working closely with fellow countries which had been appointed non-permanent members for the 2016-2016 term, such as Angola, Venezuela and New Zealand.

“We will continue to voice out what is necessary in the UNSC. However, it also takes only one superpower country to veto (a decision), but this will not cow us into keeping quiet.

“We will raise issues and I am certain we will get the support of other member countries of the UNSC.”

Malaysia, Angola, Venezuela, New Zealand and Spain won coveted seats in the UNSC after a secret ballot on Thursday, but Turkey suffered a humbling defeat in its bid to join the world's “top table”.

The five countries garnered the required two-thirds support from the 192 countries of the UN General Assembly during three rounds of voting, which ended with Turkey picking up only 60 votes.

Turkey had been competing against New Zealand and Spain for two seats, while Malaysia, Angola, and Venezuela were voted in as sole candidates from their respective regions. Malaysia polled 187 votes, while Angola got 190 votes, New Zealand 145 and Spain 132.

The five countries will join the 15-nation council that also has five permanent powers — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Paying tribute to the Malaysian team which had worked hard to lobby for the country, Anifah said Malaysia would work with other countries with common goals.

*Taken from NST Online

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