PUTRAJAYA, March 22 2012 (Bernama) -- The 1Malaysia concept is a great vision in promoting unity not only to the Malaysian people but also to the region, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said today.
He said the concept could help in raising tolerance towards the different religions, cultures and traditions as Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, religious and cultural country.
"That's exactly what the UN tries to promote worldwide, and I really appreciate Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's leadership," he said at a joint news conference after a meeting with Najib, here.
Ban said that during his visit here, he was impressed with what Malaysia had achieved under Najib's leadership in terms of political, democratic maturity and also socio-economic development.
He also expressed his appreciation for Malaysia's strong commitment, especially to peacekeeping missions, and said that the country had provided 20,000 young men and women for the cause of peace.
"I appreciate and respect all this high sacrifices made; I express admiration and deep respect to their families and the government of Malaysia," he said.
Ban, who arrived yesterday on a two-day official visit, said Malaysia was a developing country but the level of development achievement was so impressive and it could be shared with others.
He sincerely hoped that Malaysia will continue to provide such wisdom as well as lessons and experiences to many other countries not only in the region but also beyond it.
"I also sincerely hope that the electoral reform process will lead to a truly transparent and credible system to the satisfaction of all Malaysians," he said.
Ban said he hoped that the Malaysia government would continue to share ideas, experiences, commitment and support in addressing the difficulties and challenges of the world.
Later, during a question-and-answer session, Ban said he hoped that reforms in military rule in Myanmar will help ensure transparent polls next month.
Ban said the UN is in discussion with stakeholders to ensure that the elections will be held in a credible, democratic, open and transparent manner.
On North Korea's planned rocket launch next month, he expressed deep concern over the matter and said he would discuss it at a Seoul nuclear summit next week.
"I am going to discuss the issue with the president of the Republic of (South Korea) in Seoul and I will also engage with other leaders attending the nuclear summit," he said.
The nuclear-armed North has announced it will launch a rocket next month to put a satellite into orbit, a move which the United States and its allies see as a pretext for a long-range missile test.