NEW YORK, Sept 28 (Bernama) — Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has called for the creation of a “Global Movement of the Moderates” to counter Islamophobia and bridge the divide between the broader Muslim world and the West.
He said the real issue is not between Muslims and non-Muslims but between the moderates and extremists in all religions, be it Islam, Christianity or Judaism.
“Despite our continuing efforts to promote world peace and harmony, we still witness the increasing trend to perpetuate and fuel Islamophobia. There have been attempts to pit Islam against the West, demonise Islam, as well as link Islam with terrorism. These irresponsible acts further intensify the divide between the broader Muslim world and the West,” he said at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, here, Wednesday.
Anifah said: “We must ensure that the voices of moderation, which currently constitute the silent majority, prevail over that of extremism in finding solutions to the growing challenges that the international community faces.
He said Malaysia would work diligently to ensure the complement of ongoing activities with the UN Alliance of Civilisation and other inter-cultural and inter-faith dialogues so that moderation triumphs over extremism through the Global Movement of the Moderates introduced by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the UN General Assembly last year.
“Peace can only be achieved if people are willing to engage in mediation and must be made to work in the Middle East crisis as it is the only option available for the achievement of lasting peace. Mediation is the only means of providing a sustainable resolution to all conflicts and crises.
“As such, all of us have a role in ensuring that it is effective. Patience and prudence have its merits, but patience and prudence must not result in paralysis. The august body and the Security Council have adopted numerous resolutions on Palestine. Yet, there has been no tangible outcome. We also have hopes for a peaceful and just resolution of the Palestinian issue,” he said.
He also said that Malaysia supports the application of Palestine to be a full member of the United Nations and welcomes the readiness of both parties to hold talks on the basis of the existing international legal framework.
“Malaysia also fully supports the legitimate right of the Palestinian people for an independent State of Palestine, based on the two-state solution, taking into account the security concerns of both parties,” he said.
He also called for a comprehensive reform of the Security Council to make it more legitimate, representative, democratic and transparent, and no longer beholden to the veto of the five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Malaysia is transforming and reforming to be better able to adapt to a changing global landscape. We believe that the UN must also do the same. We would like to see a comprehensive reform of the UN so that it will be able to face current realities and address present challenges.
“Most particularly, the Security Council should also be reformed in a comprehensive manner, in order to make it more legitimate, representative, democratic and transparent. For the council to mediate better, it must be effective, transparent and accountable to the larger membership of the UN. It must no longer be beholden to the veto holders,” he added.
On the Rio+20 Summit, Anifah said there were new thoughts on strengthening the institutional framework for the environment by looking at new mechanisms that are inclusive and participatory, with equitable decision-making responsibilities.
On the nuclear weapons issue, he said Malaysia is committed to working with the other member states to realise the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world and would continue to advocate for the total elimination of nuclear weapons through a nuclear weapons convention.
Anifah asked member states to put pride aside and learn from each other on the current international financial issues.
“We need a new financial architecture that will be transparent, equitable, representational and participatory and an architecture that reduces volatility.
“Lessons can be learnt from the developing economies that embarked on economic reform and strengthened their financial institutions following the Asian financial crisis,” he said.
On Malaysia, he said the country had embarked on its own transformation programme through the concept of 1Malaysia, the Government Transformation Programme, the Economic Transformation Programme and the New Economic Model.
“As part of this transformation programme, Malaysia has taken a giant leap in reforming its internal security and emergency laws.
“We have announced the entire repeal of the Internal Security Act. It will be replaced by legislation to prevent subversive action, terrorism and organised violence,” he said.