KUALA LUMPUR, (Feb 26) — Malaysia has urged all parties to refrain from acts that will prolong the conflict in Syria and contribute to further violence and human rights violations in that country.
Charge d’Affaires of the Malaysian Permanent Mission to the United Nations Raja Reza Raja Zaib Shah said Malaysia empathised with the suffering of the Syrian people and “it is our view that only the Syrian people can decide their own destiny”.
“Moderation, compromise, understanding, rejection of extremism, and peaceful dialogue are the keys to resolving the conflict between the parties in the country,” he said at the informal meeting Tuesday of the Plenary of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The text of his speech was released here Wednesday.
Raja Reza said Kuala Lumpur was deeply concerned over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, which has developed into a complex emergency setting for almost all forms of humanitarian assistance.
“We are appalled that the escalating crisis continues to claim tens of thousands of innocent victims. All parties should refrain from acts that will prolong the conflict,” he said.
Raja Reza said Malaysia called for an end to the methods of warfare which were particularly disturbing, such as the sieging and starvation of civilians in populated areas, as well as, indiscriminate heavy weapons fire.
He also reiterated Malaysia’s grave concern over the unspeakable human suffering faced by the Palestinian refugees in Syria, especially in the Yarmouk camp which is still in critical need of supplies despite earlier deliveries of assistance.
“We are also greatly saddened at the increasing number of Syrians who were forced to flee their homes as refugees and internally displaced persons. In this regard, Malaysia commends the noble efforts of the neighbouring host countries, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt,” he said.
He said Malaysia welcomed the UN Security Council’s unanimity in adopting Resolution 2139 on Feb 22, and called for immediate action to be taken to ensure its implementation resulted in positive changes on the ground.
“The dire food security situation alone underlines the urgent need for rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access. Schools and medical facilities must also no longer be turned into battlegrounds,” he added.
Raja Reza said Malaysia hoped that its USD500,000 (RM1.64 million) contribution to Syria, which was made at the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference in Kuwait last month, would bring a ray of hope to the Syrian people.
“Malaysia remains hopeful that peace can be restored in Syria, and we urge all parties involved to work in the greater interest of the Syrian people,” he added.
Meanwhile, at the General Debate of the 2014 Substantive Session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations on Tuesday, Raja Reza touched on the importance of peacekeeping operations as an effective instrument in maintaining international peace and security.
He said Malaysia believed that priority should be given to the technologies that could beef up monitoring and surveillance since such technology allowed peacekeepers to stay one step ahead in the conflict.
Malaysia also touched on the need to take stock of the lessons learned, given the lack of successes in establishing an effective regime in the protection of civilians from the scourge of violence in conflict areas.
“We are of the view that more work must be done in defining a framework on protection of civilians. Such framework would be used by UN peacekeeping missions and its agencies in the field that would assist in the implementation of protection of civilian mandates,” he added.
Malaysia currently has a total of 946 military and police personnel serving in various capacities in seven UN peacekeeping missions.– BERNAMA