Malaysia PM criticises UN over 'slow' coronavirus response

Malaysia PM criticises UN over 'slow' coronavirus response
Muhyiddin Yassin called the United Nations' response to the covid-19 pandemic 'rather slow'.
3 min read
26 September, 2020
Muhyiddin Yassin [Getty]

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Saturday criticised the UN over its "rather slow" response in assisting countries over the coronavirus pandemic.

In a pre-recorded message to the UN General Assembly, Muhyiddin also said the composition of the organisation's Security Council should "better reflect the United Nations current membership."

"The United Nations has been rather slow in aiding the response of member states to COVID-19. For instance, in the first few months of the pandemic, the United Nations Security Council, UNSC, failed to discuss the issue, even though the pandemic clearly poses a grave threat to the security of the world.

"We must be brutally honest with ourselves and admit that after more than seven decades, surely the fate of the world's peace and security should not continue to be left in the hands of a few.” membership."

He also condemned the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, saying that Malaysia's position is clear that "acquisition of any territory by war or force is inadmissible and illegal."

Muhyiddin Yassin, Malaysian Prime Minister:

"Israel continues to threaten Palestinian statehood with further annexation of Palestinian land, further denying Palestine any semblance of human security or peace," he said.

"Malaysia's position on this matter remains clear and consistent. Annexation is unlawful. It violates the charter of the United Nations, the Geneva Conventions and relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

The acquisition of any territory by war or force is inadmissible and illegal. As such, there will never be, nor can there be ever be any legitimacy in Israel's actions against Palestine."

The Malaysian prime minister called for more support for Rohingya refugees, saying that "the time has come" for state parties to "shoulder a proportionate burden and responsibility."

"The spillover effects of the crisis in the Rakhine state, which includes the mass migration of people from Myanmar, has significantly impacted not only in Malaysia but also other neighbouring countries, which are currently host the largest number of Rohingya refugees in Southeast Asia," said Muhyiddin Yassin, Malaysian Prime Minister.

"As a developing nation, coping with the cost of managing and providing protections to nearly 180,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers in the country, with 80% of them from Myanmar.

"Our resources are stretched thin. Yet Malaysia is expected to do more to accommodate these incoming refugees. Is that fair? Although Malaysia is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 protocol, Malaysia has taken up the social and financial responsibility in providing humanitarian assistance and protection to Rohingya refugees on humanitarian grounds.

"The time has come for state parties to reconvention to shoulder a proportionate burden and responsibility in addressing the problems by opening the doors for more refugees for resettlement and relocation."

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