PETALING JAYA: Datuk Dr Fauziah Mohamad Taib has a surprise in store for the next Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) executive council meeting.
After 36 years of government service, Malaysia’s ambassador to the Netherlands and its permanent representative to the OPCW will be retiring at the end of this month, when she turns 60.
The executive council meeting on March 19 will see her in attendance there for the last time.
On the sidelines, she will be launching her book, At the OPCW: A Story of Malaysia’s Interventions.
The book, her third while serving in the Netherlands, is a compilation of her selected statements at the various OPCW meetings. There will also be additional commentary on the statements.
Fauziah took the floor at every council meeting and wrote all her speeches herself.
International arms control expert Robert Mathews at the University of Melbourne writes, in a blurb on the book jacket, that “her personality, insightful perspectives and sense of humour shine through”.
The diplomat says in the introduction to the book that her colleagues had asked her to share her experience in speechwriting, and this is the result.
During the sessions at the OPCW meetings, each state party was allowed only six to eight minutes to deliver a statement.
But even during that short slot for making a statement, Fauziah was able to illuminate her points and state Malaysia’s position memorably – with simple language to explain the complex technical and difficult issues of multilateralism and disarmament, and especially by the judicious use of colourful quotes and anecdotes.
For example, in her statement in Feb 2012, she described “our OPCW journey as a Tolkien trilogy.
She stated: “The first part, probably the hardest, was setting the ground rules. We are now on to Part Two – navigating Middle Earth with the map agreed upon.
“In order for us to get to the end, that is, the objective of a world free of chemical weapons, we need to navigate together”.
She hopes the book will “interest the uninterested” and subsequently “attract the public to the subject of chemical weapons”.
The book will be available for purchase at MPH Malaysia and also via Amazon.