UN2K: Malaysia H.E. Dato' Seri Syed Hamid Albar
H.E. DATO' SERI SYED HAMID ALBAR
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA
HEAD OF THE MALAYSIAN DELEGATION
TO THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT
THURSDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2000
Allow me to warmly congratulate your Excellencies on your election as Co-Chairmen of this historic Millennium Summit. Malaysia is confident that under your able and wise stewardship this Summit will have a successful outcome.
2. We are gathered here to reaffirm our faith in the United Nations which has served the international community for over half a century. It is indeed a critical and soulsearching moment for members of this Organization. We need to reflect on the past, draw lessons from it and see how, based on the Charter, the Organisation can best serve the international community in this new century.
3. We must begin with the fundamental principles and purposes of the United Nations, as enshrined in its Charter. The Organization must continue to ensure freedom and equality and right of humankind to live in dignity-free from hunger, poverty, .violence, oppression and injustice. It must continue to be on the vanguard of the global efforts towards the emancipation of all of humankind from these ills. It must also continue, through its development programmes and activities, to be an important vehicle and catalyst for the transformation of societies in the developing world.
4. The United Nations of the twenty-first Century must be a more democratic body. It cannot champion democracy and good governance in the domestic politics of its members while ignoring these very same principles in its own operation. It cannot claim moral stature when it does not put into practice what it preaches in its Charter and the many resolutions adopted in successive General Assembly sessions. Reform is imperative for an organization that was fashioned more than half a century ago in the prevailing circumstances of the 1940's. Its future viability and relevance to the contemporary world will depend on how successfully it modernizes itself
5. For the United Nations to be strengthened as an institution to serve its greatly enlarged membership, it must be relevant with the times, and in tune with the new realities of the twenty-first century. It has to recognise that it now serves the interests of 189 members, not just those of the original 40 plus members. The state of the world today is vastly different from that of the 1940's. Unless the United Nations discards its mindset of the past it would be allowing itself to be hostage to a bygone era.
6. The vast majority of the members of the United Nations today are developing countries-many of them, small and vulnerable. For many, the United Nations is the repository of their hopes and aspirations for a better and more equitable world order, based on the principles of shared responsibilities, commitments and obligations. They look towards the Organization as an important forum for the articulation of their views; but they also expect it to be responsive to their concerns and needs. The United Nations must cater to the needs of its entire member, particularly the majority group of developing countries. The smaller member states, especially those in the least- developed category, should not feel that they are being sidelined but can expect to participate in the discussions of global issues and make a meaningful contribution irrespective of their size.
12. There is also a need for greater international cooperation to deal with the risks and challenges of the new and dynamic international environment, requiring measures and approaches that are sensitive to the particular needs of developing countries. In this regard, Malaysia considers the formation of the G-20 as a concrete step forward in establishing a permanent mechanism, comprising developed, developing and emerging economies on global financial and monetary matters.
13. Malaysia believes that the views of developing countries and their rights to special and differential treatment must be taken into account in any multilateral negotiations. In this regard the United Nations has an important, legitimate and constructive role to play given its universal membership and moral weight on global issues. We commend the Secretary-General for initiating dialogues and interactions with the Bretton Woods institutions. We hope this could be further developed as an integral mechanism in the Organisation's efforts to influence the deliberations of important international institutions, including those of the World Trade Organisation.
14. The United Nations has an enormous task ahead in the twenty-first Century. Let us all work together in a true spirit of mutual understanding and full cooperation to achieve our goals.