KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave the assurance that Malaysia will continue to play a leading role to promote peace.
The Deputy Prime Minister said Malaysia would continue to speak up on matters of principle and protect laws and institutions that governed the conduct of nations.
“Where called upon, we will offer our assistance in building confidence and finding resolutions in areas of conflicts,” he said at the closing of the Kuala Lumpur World Peace Conference here yesterday.
He noted that Malaysia had a well-respected diplomatic service with wide experience in conflict resolution.
Malaysia, he said, provided the international diplomacy a unique perspective that was reflective of the great Asian civilisation as it could understand international conflicts from a broader perspective given the success of its peoples living in unity despite differences in faith and ethnicity.
Abdullah pointed out that Malaysia, under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had earned the respect of other countries, especially the Muslim world and the South.
This, together with Malaysia's chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement and later the Organisation of Islamic Conference would put Malaysia in a leading position to promote peace, he said.
Abdullah also paid tribute to Dr Mahathir who stood defiant when leaders of other small countries gave in to the decision to attack Iraq.
“It was a moral resistance in its highest form”, he said, adding that in objecting to the attack, Malaysia stood for what was right, risking the chagrin of the powerful.
Malaysia and the millions of people who marched, petitioned and lit candles against the war did not succeed in preventing it, he said, adding that “history ought to record that the war was not our war and record the courage demonstrated by Dr Mahathir and Malaysians in standing up for principle and justice.”
Later, he presented the lifetime achievement award to former Czech Republic president Vaclav Havel, who led the Velvet Revolution against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989. Czech Republic Ambassador to Malaysia Vitaslav Grepl received the award on behalf of Havel.
Abdullah said Havel and French President Jacques Chirac, who received the inaugural Kuala Lumpur Peace Award a few weeks ago, had inspired the people with courage of their convictions and commitment to moral principles.
The two-day global peace conference adopted a nine-point declaration. The declaration includes supporting non-violent programmes that advance peace and constructive ways to resolve conflict, and encouraging a new education that focuses on academic and technical studies, and nurturing individuals to serve.
Full text of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's speech at the closing of the World Peace Conference yesterdayPak Lah: Voices of reason can prevail
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