NEW YORK – Malaysia will continue to share its experience to help strengthen the South-South Cooperation as a powerful force for developing countries, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said here Saturday (Sunday in Malaysia).
The Prime Minister said he was confident that as ASEAN established itself as a Community by the end of the year, both Malaysia and other Southeast Asia nations would be able to do more to contribute to South-South Cooperation.
Malaysia is the Chair of ASEAN for 2015.
“Malaysia remains ready to continue to share our development experience, even as we ourselves are on track to reach high income status by 2020,” he told a High-Level Roundtable on South-South Cooperation at the United Nations (UN) headquarters here.
The session attended by leaders of 20 countries was chaired by the President of China, Xi Jinping while UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon was also present.
Najib said since 1980, Malaysia has been assisting less developed countries in areas such as economic planning, finance and trade, agriculture, education, industrial technical training and diplomacy.
To date, he added Kuala Lumpur had allocated $200 million (RM840 million) to the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme, benefiting 29,000 participants from 141 countries.
However, he stressed that South-South countries should stand united with a common voice to become a powerful force at all multilateral fora, providing an in-depth and more accurate diagnosis of the issues faced by developing countries.
Citing a famous Chinese saying “When people work with one mind, they can even move Mount Tai”, Najib said South-South Cooperation could help reinforce the emphasis on building the resilience of the poor and vulnerable, in particular the least developed, landlocked and small island states.
“They especially need help in reducing their exposure to climate-related, natural, and economic shocks,” he added.
Touching on the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, Najib said: “What the world would be like then, we would not know for sure. What we do know, however, is that the global south will have continued its rise, and that many of the policy challenges will be of a cross-border, even cross-continental, nature”.
The high-level roundtable, among others, will provide a platform for South nations in urging developed nations to meet their commitments and to encourage the UN system to provide greater support to South-South Cooperation.
Najib Tun Razak is currently on a working visit in New York, joining more than 170 world leaders, at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly.