KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — The mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan, with new priorities and emphases, further augments the new Malaysian Government’s alignment to international standards and aspirations, particularly the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
United Nations (UN) Coordinator for Malaysia, Stefan Priesner said the global south (developing world), no doubt, could benefit much from the lessons learnt and from Malaysia’s journey in the effective implementation of its transformational development and reform agenda.
“Malaysia’s success story with regards to the Millennium Development Goals is still used as case study by some developing countries. Such success must be continued in the era of SDGs (2015-2030).
“With 12 years to go to the deadline, Malaysia and the rest of the world are in a race to ensure that we make this world more sustainable and inclusive, and ensure no one is left behind,” he told Bernama in an email interview here today, in conjunction with tomorrow’s UN Day celebration.
Every year, Oct 24 is celebrated as UN Day since 1948. This year marks the UN’s 73rd anniversary.
Priesner, who is also the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, said Malaysia’s recent peaceful transition of power through a democratic process was viewed positively on the international stage and served as a model for other countries.
“The commitments of the new Malaysian Government as per its manifesto are also commendable, given its focus-inclusive development reaching those furthest behind, environmental sustainability and the prioritisation of good governance, moderation, harmony, democracy, human rights and institutional reform,” he added.
On Malaysia’s role and contribution in the UN, he said Malaysia had been an active member of the UN since 1957.
“Malaysia has contributed towards preventing conflicts and sustaining peace during its non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council. Malaysia served as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for four terms (1965, 1989–1990, 1999–2000 and 2015–2016).
“Furthermore, Malaysia has active participation in UN peacekeeping missions since 1960, in 36 such missions with over 35,000 military and police personnel deployed,” he noted.
On whether Malaysia could be re-elected in the UN Security Council, Priesner said there was no reason for Malaysia not to be re-elected because the four previous terms had shown it had much to offer in the international arena.
He also pointed out Malaysia and UN relations were excellent as the relations did not only include Malaysia’s support to the UN, but also vice-versa, stressing the UN and its agencies had been key development partners to Malaysia since the 1950s.
“We work closely with the (current) Malaysian Government and other stakeholders in support of the country’s national development priorities. The work of the UN system is anchored on the Agenda 2030 and SDGs,” he added.
Priesner noted that SDGs had another 12 years to go and the UN and related agencies were actively supporting the government to achieve those goals through effective mainstreaming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, as well as reporting.
“We focus our work along the three main principles of the SDGs which leave no one behind, rights and environmental sustainability,” he said.
Currently, the UN presence in Malaysia is over 824 staff-strong. There are 10 agencies including UNDP, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), World Health Organisation (WHO), International Organisation for Migration and United Nations Capital Development Fund.
There are also three global centres, namely UNDP Global Shared Services, WHO and UNU-IIGH, providing back-office functions for the running of these agencies globally, with 90 per cent of employees being Malaysian.
In addition, there are nine non-resident agencies supporting Malaysia from Bangkok and Jakarta.
These include, among others, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UN Women and the International Atomic Energy Agency. — Bernama