KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia deeply regretted that Palestine’s application to participate as an observer state at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) for the 2024 session was objected to by some delegations.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin, when delivering the country’s statement at the 2024 Session of the conference in Geneva on Wednesday, said Malaysia is of the view that Palestine has equal rights to participate in the work of the conference.

He noted that Palestine is a Permanent Observer State of the United Nations and a State Party to disarmament agreements, namely the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which were negotiated and adopted by the CD.

“Malaysia underlines the importance of the principles of inclusivity and multilateralism in the work of the conference,“ he said.

Mohamad said Malaysia further called for the expansion of the Conference’s membership for a wider engagement within the international community.

He said Malaysia also called on member states to agree on a Programme of Work, noting that it is vital for CD to overcome all obstacles before it could fulfil its mandate of negotiating disarmament and non-proliferation instruments.

The current global crisis in international peace and security desperately requires a CD that is functioning and effective, he said.

“However, the inability of CD Member States to agree on a Programme of Work has resulted in a prolonged impasse of more than two decades,“ he said.

To this end, Mohamad said Malaysia will continue to engage constructively with other member states of the conference and support all efforts that contribute towards general and complete disarmament.

“On that note, we call for all member states to urgently demonstrate greater political will, build trust amongst one another, as well as exercise utmost flexibility to advance the substantive work of the conference,“ he said.

Mohamad said the Malaysian delegation underscored that agreeing to a Programme of Work does not prejudge the results of treaty negotiations in the future.

He said Malaysia remained a steadfast proponent of nuclear disarmament due to the devastating effects of nuclear weapons not only on humans but also on the environment.

“Malaysia strongly reaffirms that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the absolute guarantee against their use or threat of use,“ he said.

Mohamad is leading the Malaysian delegation to the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council and High-Level Segment of the CD, from Feb 27 to 29 in Geneva, Switzerland.

At the Human Rights Council, Mohamad met with the High Commissioner of Human Rights, Volker Turk, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The ministry said both sides engaged in discussions regarding strengthening cooperation between Malaysia and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) across various human rights issues, including collaboration through its regional office in Bangkok.

The Deputy Foreign Minister also expressed that Malaysia welcomes the High Commissioner’s inaugural visit to the country later this year. - Bernama

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