YAB DATO’ SRI ISMAIL SABRI YAAKOB
AT THE FIRST PLENARY SESSION OF
THE 13TH ASEAN-EUROPE SUMMIT (ASEM13)
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
25 NOVEMBER 2021 (VIRTUAL)
“INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT”
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Let me congratulate you, Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Government of Cambodia, for successfully hosting the Summit.
2. I would like to congratulate the ASEM Family on reaching the milestone of 25 years of partnership, understanding and cooperation.
3. Allow me also to commend Vietnam for successfully hosting the High-Level Dialogue in June 2021 to commemorate ASEM’s 25th Anniversary.
4. Malaysia welcomes this session’s theme as it focuses on the importance of multilateralism and how ASEM Partners could find convergence to tackle pressing global challenges facing our two continents.
COVID-19 Pandemic and Health Diplomacy
5. The pandemic health threats have altered the way we interact with each other. The economy, especially the tourism and service sectors, are among the hardest hit by the pandemic.
6. In this regard, Malaysia supports the essence of the Phnom Penh Statement on the Post-COVID-19 Socio- Economic Recovery.
7. Malaysia hopes that all ASEM Partners will be able to implement and collaborate activities to facilitate the implementation of this Statement.
8. At the national level, Malaysia has launched the National Vaccine Development Roadmap (PPVN) and the Malaysian Genome and Vaccine Institute (MGVI).
9. We aspire to turn Malaysia into a hub for vaccine production.
10. Our sincere goal is to save more lives, particularly those vulnerable to the pandemic and living under challenging circumstances.
11. On the path of socio-economic recovery, Malaysia is currently working with a few ASEM Partners like Singapore and Indonesia to establish the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL).
12. We are hopeful that the resumption of movement of people between countries would help boost our economies, resuscitate livelihoods and refresh people- to-people contact.
Sustainable Development and Green Growth Policy
13. Advancing a green growth agenda is essential to achieve economic empowerment, environmental sustainability and social inclusion.
14. In September, I launched the Twelfth Malaysia’s Plan, which practically aligned our national development priorities to the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. We adopted the whole-of-nation approach in the implementation of the SDGs.
15. With the focus of “leaving no one behind”, localising the SDGs initiatives will have to be intensified. Enhancing understanding and public awareness are vital in implementing the SDGs at the local level.
16. Thus, mainstreaming sustainability is paramount in ensuring the smooth transition to a greener ecosystem.
17. Recently, my government has announced its commitment to becoming a Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emission Nation by 2050, at the earliest.
18. In the pursuit of a green and sustainable environment, governments would still require to execute a pragmatic and precise strategy to eradicate extreme poverty, hunger and inequalities.
19. Therefore, I hope that developed countries will continue supporting and providing technical assistance and technology transfer to the developing world in green and sustainable programs.
20. Despite the negative impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with opportunities.
21. Evidently, we have all been forced to scale up our resources for digital transformation; as we rebuild our socio-economic sectors such as business, education and healthcare.
22. We need to undertake concrete initiatives to steer ASEM Connectivity closer to its objectives and principles.
23. Let us resume to facilitate and promote people-to- people access and to foster deeper economic ties.
24. Before I conclude, I sincerely hope that our Big ASEM Family of 53 Nations will continue to build upon the partnership of shared interests and uphold the spirit of peace, progress and prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.