Malaysia delighted with theme chosen by Thailand for Asean chairmanship: Saifuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is delighted with the theme chosen by Thailand for its Asean chairmanship next year – ‘Advancing Partnership for Sustainability’ – as it is in line with Malaysia’s drive to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 Agenda.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (pix) said the theme, unveiled at the closing ceremony of the recently-concluded 33rd Asean Summit in Singapore, was also relevant with the 11th Malaysia Plan in the context of the aspirations of its 17 SDGs, as well as the efforts that must be intensified to accelerate the nation’s progress towards achieving the SDGs principles.

“We are very happy that Thailand has chosen such theme because this is very much in line and relevant to our 11th Malaysia Plan in which we have taken the SDGs to be embedded in the plan.

“As we are taking sustainability and sustainable development in a big way as these concepts are not strange to us ever since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, therefore, I must say we are always supportive of all Asean chairmen, and when Thailand chose sustainability as the theme, it is very natural that Malaysia is quite excited about it.”

He said this at a press conference after delivering a keynote address at ‘The Asean Post Inaugural Forum: Reimagining Southeast Asia 2018’ here today.

Saifuddin and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darrell Leiking were among speakers at a panel session on the topic titled “Asean 2025: Reimagining Southeast Asia”, earlier.

The foreign minister also noted that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, then-Malaysia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Tan Sri Razali Ismail and a non-governmental organisation, Third World Network representative Martin Khor, played a very instrumental role in the 1992 summit.

At the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Malaysia pledged to maintain 50% of the country’s land area as forest cover – an area equivalent to 16.5 million hectares.

Thailand last held the Asean chairmanship post in 2009. — Bernama