Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to deliver Malaysia’s national statement at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly general debate in New York on Friday to showcase Malaysia as a mature democracy that upholds the primacy of the rule of law.
A Wisma Putra statement today said that Mahathir will lead the Malaysian delegation to the 73rd UNGA from tomorrow to Sept 29 as the seventh prime minister of Malaysia after Pakatan Harapan’s 14th general election victory on May 9, representing a new government with fresh mandates and aspirations.
“Mahathir will outline Malaysia’s commitments in working with the other UN member states in achieving the objectives under the theme of the 73rd general debate and beyond.
"He will also underscore Malaysia’s expectations of the UN as the principal international organisation mandated to maintain international peace and security,” the statement read.
Mahathir will be accompanied on his working visit by his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali; Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah; Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu; Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad; Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir and senior government officials.
The theme of this year’s general debate, ‘Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies’, focuses on the continuing relevance of the UN system.
This invariably gives emphasis to the collective commitments made by world leaders to address the challenges of peace, equity and sustainability.
The last time Mahathir addressed the UNGA was at the 58th session, in 2003.
Wisma Putra said Mahathir is also scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the ‘Achieving SDGs: Unleashing the potential of Islamic finance’ event at the UN on Sept 27, jointly organised by the Securities Commission of Malaysia, the UNDP and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
The prime minister has numerous engagements, including a dialogue with the US Council on Foreign Relations, a panel discussion at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, as well as an address at the Asia Society.
Mahathir is slated to be interviewed by the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and TRT World and is expected to meet with renowned entrepreneurs as well as potential investors from the United States during his visit. He is also scheduled to host a dinner for the Malaysian diaspora in New York.
The prime minister is also scheduled to have bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the 73rd UNGA to discuss matters of mutual interest, which are expected to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance understanding among world leaders on pertinent regional and global issues.
Among the world leaders scheduled to meet Mahathir on the sidelines of the UNGA is UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
The two premiers are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, mainly to share on matters such as the global economy and the latest information on Brexit and Malaysia’s economic progress.
In their first meeting since Mahathir became prime minister of Malaysia again, both leaders are also expected to hold discussions on ties between the two countries.
Soon after arriving in New York, Mahathir is also expected to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday where the discussion will focus on the situation in West Asia, as well as Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.
Wisma Putra said the accompanying ministers would have their own separate programmes during the 73rd UNGA.
It said Saifuddin is scheduled to represent Malaysia and deliver statements at several meetings and events such as the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, the High-Level Ministerial Event on Mediation, and the Ministerial Meeting of the UN Alliance of Civilisations.
Besides holding several bilateral meetings with his counterparts to discuss bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, Saifuddin will also attend several ministerial-level meetings related to Asean, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the Group of 77, as well as other events held on the sidelines of the 73rd UNGA.
Meanwhile, Mohamad is scheduled to attend the High-Level Event on Action for Peacekeeping, while Dzulkefly is scheduled to attend the High-Level Meeting on the Fight against Tuberculosis and the High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases.
Mukhriz is scheduled to hold meetings with potential investors and influential business leaders to explore new business opportunities for Kedah.