The Prime Minister of Malaysia was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Datuk Anifah Haji Aman, the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathi as well as Malaysia’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Mr Datuk Kenneth Luis.
In his address, the Prime Minister expressed his thanks to the Organization and the Director-General for giving him the “honour and privilege of addressing this General Conference, a first for a Malaysian Prime Minister”. Recalling his past participation in the work of UNESCO, first in his capacity of Malaysia’s Minister of Education and later as Malaysia’s Representative to the Executive Board, Mr Najib Tun Razak said “It was a poignant and nostalgic moment reinforced by the fact that it was my late father, Tun Abudul Razak, as Malaysia’s pre-independence Minister of Education and the country’s second Prime Minister who had played an instrumental role in Malaysia’s decision to join UNESCO more than five decades ago”.
Mr Najib Tun Razak spoke about the three challenges currently faced by the international community which must be addressed head on, namely: the ensuring of a durable peace, the creation of a new global financial architecture and the management of climate change. He argued that sustainable peace was achieved mainly through dialogue and that “Malaysia is willing to play its role in facilitating inter cultural dialogue…this is at the root of the ‘One-Malaysia’ philosophy which I introduced at the outset of taking office last April. We believe in this philosophy, predicated on mutual trust and respect between all communities; my clarion call for Malaysia is ‘One-Dream, One-People, and One-Nation’. I believe it is the right formula not only for national harmony but it is also appropriate towards enhancing regional and global peace”.
Congratulating Mr Matsuura for “his excellent stewardship” during his tenure at UNESCO, the Prime Minister announced that the “Government of Malaysia will establish a UNESCO – Malaysia Cooperative Trust Fund” as a gesture of the country’s sincere commitment and belief in the ideals of the Organization. He explained that “this fund will be utilized to enhance South-South cooperation and capacity building in education and science for the benefit of the Least Developed Countries, Small Island States and in support of the Priority Africa agenda”.
Following his address, the Director-General hosted a lunch in honour of Mr Najib Tun Razak and Mr Filip Vujanovic. Later in the evening, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak hosted a reception on the occasion of the 35th General Conference.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 187-2009 - Publication Date: 08-10-2009