PM set to address UN General Assembly later this month


NEW YORK: Malaysian diplomats here are preparing an elaborate programme for the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, who will also address the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Dr Mahathir is expected to arrive in New York in the final week of September for a three-day visit.

According to UN sources, he is likely to address the UNGA on Sept 28. The session opens on Sept 18.

In an interview with Bernama at his office, Malaysia’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Datuk Shahrul Ikram Yaakob, said that he and his staff are busy preparing for the Prime Minister’s visit during which leaders and dignitaries from all corners of the world will descend on New York for the UN’s high-level event.

Dr Mahathir is leading a delegation that will include the Foreign Minister and one or more Cabinet members, along with senior staff of Wisma Putra and other ministries.

“As far as I know, Malaysia will elucidate its foreign policy goals which, I believe, will remain the same.

“Multilateralism, peace, security, Palestine, violent extremism, reform of institutions, etc. may be issues that could be addressed,” Shahrul Ikram said, emphasising that Malaysia attaches importance to the rule of law in the context of peace and security.

In his view, the debate over the reform of the Security Council has been going on for a long time – it is now in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations – and “we must see how this process further develops”.

Many leaders who arrive in New York also tend to use their presence to meet other world leaders – be it in the bilateral or multilateral context.

Dr Mahathir, who is not visiting Washington DC, is also likely to meet with his counterparts from other countries, though it is not officially known, as of now, whom he is going to meet.

There will also be leaders from countries of Asean, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Latin America. The possibility of having bilateral talks is immense, but all leaders and dignitaries coming for the UNGA session face tremendous time constraints. -- Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd