PM offers UN-Habitat to set up KL office

NEW YORK: The United Nations has been offered to set up a UN-Habitat regional office in Kuala Lumpur so that it will be close to the rapid process of urbanisation happening in the Asean region.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said UN-Habitat should have an office in the region as member countries experience fast-paced development, which could also lead to environmental issues.

“I made this offer during my meeting with the UN secretary-general, Antonio Gutteres. He did not make any commitment but said he will look into the matter,” Ismail Sabri told Malaysian media after the meeting.

The UN-Habitat is a UN agency for human settlements, mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities.

Former Penang mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif is the executive director of UN-Habitat.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia would continue to support and cooperate with all UN-Habitat sponsored programmes and believed that the body would continue to excel in implementing Sustainable Development Goals-related programmes.

He said he also spoke about Malaysia’s proposal on UN reforms during his meeting with Gutteres.

“I pointed out the importance of the transformation so that the UN’s existence will not be questioned.

“The body must be able to resolve issues involving member states and not just merely play host for leaders to give their annual speech,” he added.

During his address to the UN general assembly on Friday, Ismail Sabri raised the need for reforms in international systems, including calling for the abolition of veto power in the UN.

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