‘UN must change to stay relevant’

Official visit: Ismail Sabri being greeted by UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei (right) upon his arrival at the international airport yesterday. — Bernama

NEW YORK: Reforms in the international system will be among issues which will be advocated by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob during discussions with world leaders.

The Prime Minister said while Malaysia will continue to pursue the issues of Palestine and Myanmar, the proposed changes in the United Nations would also be one of his talking points.

“I will raise the matter in my future meetings with other leaders.

“There must be determination for changes so the international body remains relevant after decades of its existence,” he told the Malaysian media on the last day of his visit to New York in conjunction with the 77th UN General Assembly.

In his speech last Friday at the general assembly, Ismail Sabri called on the abolition of veto power at the UN, arguing this was consistent with the principle of one country, one vote.

The UN Security Council veto power refers to the power of its five permanent members – China, Russia, France, United Kingdom and United States – to veto any “substantive resolution”.

The veto power has been criticised for its undemocratic nature, as a single country can prevent the security council from taking any action.

The Prime Minister said UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres was the first leader whom he discussed Malaysia’s proposal with.

“I impressed upon him the importance for the UN to change. If there are issues, the body is the final place for nations to refer to.

“If the UN cannot help resolve their issue, then there will be questions on its existence. There will be questions on the need for the body if it cannot help settle issues and crises,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said Guterres agreed that there should no longer be any veto power or that it be limited.

“We were told that France also agreed with Malaysia’s proposed abolition of the veto power.

“But we believe in putting this to implementation. Nations can agree with the abolition but if it is not put into effect, it is meaningless,” he said.

Malaysia had also proposed the creation of an international monetary cooperation mechanism.

On this, the Prime Minister said actions by certain nations when it comes to monetary policies could affect others.

He cited the United States’ decision to raise interest rates as having an impact not just on Malaysia but other countries, too.

“We are aware that each and every country has the right to determine their financial and monetary policies. No one has the power to stop this.

“But what Malaysia is asking the world to consider is for better coordination,” he said.

“This is so that if measures and policies, say to hike interest rates for example, that countries like the US want to put in place, we can discuss the matter first,” he added.

“We are just asking for better coordination so that we can be informed of the effects of such a move,” he noted.

Upon leaving New York, Ismail Sabri flew to Abu Dhabi for a four-day working visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Prime Minister was given an audience with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi yesterday, reported Bernama.

This was the first meeting between the two leaders since Sheikh Mohamed’s appointment as president on May 14.

The two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen the long-standing and multifaceted cooperation between Malaysia and the UAE.

Ismail Sabri is also scheduled to visit the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to look into potential collaboration between it and PETRONAS in oil and gas as well as renewable energy.

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Reforms , Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob , UN ,


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