The United Nations Peacekeeping Summit
His Excellency Barack Obama
President of the United States of America,
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by congratulating you, President Obama, for convening this Summit. Our presence here today reflects our continuous and collective commitment to the preservation of international peace and security.
Today, there are 16 active UN peacekeeping missions. They are made up of soldiers, police and civilians from all over the world whose commitment to freeing communities from conflict we should all applaud. We owe them our gratitude and we pray for their wellbeing.
Since 1960, Malaysia has participated in 35 UN peacekeeping missions, with the deployment of over 29,000 military and police personnel. Currently, Malaysian peacekeepers are participating in six missions: in Western Sahara, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Liberia, Abyei and Darfur.
Their responsibilities range from the protection of civilians, to addressing sexual violence and promoting human rights. Malaysian peacekeepers have received commendations for their work from the United Nations and other countries, and we are proud of their service for the good of others.
My government supports this Summit’s objective of strengthening UN peacekeeping operations, and to put that support into practice Malaysia will make the following contributions to expanded and new UN peacekeeping operations:
280 police officers and personnel to be deployed as 2 teams of Formed Police Units;
100 police officers and personnel to be deployed as Individual Police Officers and as part of the United Nations Police;
One infantry battalion battle group for rapid deployment;
One engineering unit to assist peacekeeping missions; and
Capacity building through training at the Malaysian Peacekeeping Centre. To date, this Centre has conducted more than 90 series of courses for over 2,500 local and international participants from 52 countries.
Malaysia also believes that regional organisations play a vital role in the maintenance of peace and security. As Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – ASEAN – Malaysia is pleased that this March we adopted the concept of the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.
This will serve not only to enhance coordination for quick deployment to areas of crisis, but also to unite the region’s military establishments under the banner of ASEAN for the wellbeing of our peoples.
We believe ASEAN militaries can play a critical role as first responders to challenges in the region through the effective implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The work of the UN peacekeeping missions is vital, and the security and support they provide is our joint responsibility. Our collective commitment and concerted efforts are necessary to ensure that they remain properly resourced, and able to face the constantly changing challenges of a world in which conflict is still too common. It is my hope that this Summit will bring us closer to that common goal.