Remarks By Y.B. Foreign Minister of Malaysia in Conjunction with the 42nd ASEAN Day

 

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, allow me to wish you all a very good morning and a warm welcome to Wisma Putra.  On behalf of the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, I also wish to express our appreciation for your presence here this morning to this occasion to commemorate the 42nd ASEAN Day.

2.      Allow me now to deliver the speech on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs of  Malaysia.

3.      The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Green ASEAN’. This theme was chosen to reflect the strong commitment of ASEAN towards establishing an ASEAN Community based on the principles of sustainable development.  With this in mind, the ASEAN Leaders adopted the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint in Thailand last February.  In this Blueprint, eleven priority areas on regional environmental cooperation were identified to meet the global challenges and threats arising from climate change and global warming.  Through these, the diversity of our natural resources and our environment will be preserved in a balanced and sustainable manner for the sake of future generations.  The ultimate aim of course is to improve the quality of life and well-being of the peoples of ASEAN.

4.      Malaysia, on its part, has taken significant efforts to implement various measures to align the country towards a clean and greener future. We have formulated several environment-friendly policies such as National Policy on Biological Diversity, National Policy on Environment, National Wetlands Policy and National Forestry Policy. Our National Policy on Climate Change is currently being drafted.

5.      The recent establishment of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water is a testimony of Malaysia’s serious commitment towards encouraging the use of green technology to promote equitable and sustainable development. 

6.      Malaysia also looks forward to the successful conclusion of the forthcoming Copenhagen Conference (COP 15) to be held in December 2009.  We also hope that the East Asia Summit Environment Ministers in Singapore in October this year will come up with a common position on climate change and other environmental threats with the view to support the Copenhagen Conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

7.      On the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, I am indeed encouraged by the achievements made thus far.   The ASEAN Foreign Ministers at their recent meeting in Phuket, Thailand in July have adopted the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the ASEAN human rights body.  They agreed to name the body as “ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights”.  We welcome this positive development.  I hope the Terms of Reference would serve as a platform to further develop and strengthen the Commission.

8.      Another significant outcome of the Phuket Meeting was the accession of the United States to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.  It is hoped that this positive development would contribute to the strengthening of peace and stability in the region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

9.           To build an ASEAN Community by 2015 is indeed challenging.  In realizing this objective, there is a need to inject a fresh momentum to the ASEAN process, driven by a people-centred agenda.  Towards this end, people-to-people linkages, social and cultural exchanges and interactions should be encouraged.  This is important to nurture the sense of belonging among the peoples of ASEAN, in creating one identity and one community where peoples live in peace and harmony.    The ASEAN Anthem which we just heard to me is a precursor towards this endeavor.

10.       The flag raising ceremony this morning is a small yet significant part of the on-going efforts by Wisma Putra to raise public awareness on ASEAN.  It is hope that this simple yet symbolic ceremony will be a permanent fixture of Wisma Putra’s annual calendar of events. Several other activities have also been lined up to mark the ASEAN Day this year, albeit on a moderate scale. I am happy to note that as in the past, this year’s celebration continues to see the participation of school children, university students, government officials, civil societies and other stakeholders.  Indeed, the works towards realizing the ASEAN Community is the collective responsibility of all. In fact, the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak in his address on 7 August 2009 has emphasized this pertinent point.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

11.    In order to promote greater awareness among and encourage greater participation of the people on ASEAN, Wisma Putra will be launching an official website of the ASEAN-Malaysia National Secretariat after this ceremony.  The establishment of the website reflects the government’s continued commitment to bring ASEAN to the people as a source of information, knowledge-sharing and interactive medium.

12.    Finally, allow me once again, on behalf of Wisma Putra, to convey our appreciation to all of you present here today to celebrate this auspicious occasion.  Let me also take this opportunity to thank DBKL Brass Band, Wisma Putra Choir and others for their contribution in making this ceremony a success.

Thank you.

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