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PUTRAJAYA, Oct 5 -- Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah on Tuesday hosted a Virtual Reception for the Diplomatic Corps for Malaysia’s Candidature to the Human Rights Council, ahead of elections on 14 Oct 2021 at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
According to a statement from the Malaysian Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) tonight, Saifuddin shared Malaysia’s aspirations and priorities for the Human Rights Council with more than 100 foreign diplomats and members of the diplomatic corps during the Virtual Reception.
Among others, he emphasised on Malaysia’s priority for a whole-of-society approach in the promotion and protection of human rights, namely for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
He reiterated Malaysia’s continued implementation of obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).
On the remaining core human rights instruments, he emphasised Malaysia's initiatives to review the instruments and to promote greater understanding, especially at the grassroots level.
Saifuddin also assured Malaysia’s commitment to work closely with all Human Rights Council mechanisms, namely the Special Procedures Mandate Holders (SPMH) as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
He emphasized Malaysia’s intention to foster a spirit of constructive and practical engagement, cooperation, inclusivity, transparency, peaceful coexistence, and mutual respect.
The statement said the minister also highlighted youth, vulnerable groups, business and human rights, climate change, cultural rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as focus areas for Malaysia’s candidature.
The Virtual Reception also received support from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) with its chairman Tan Sri Othman Hashim reaffirming the commission’s endorsement for the Government’s bid and the pledges.
SUHAKAM also offered its cooperation to work with the Government in furthering the protection and promotion of human rights under the 12th Malaysia Plan and other national mechanism.
Malaysia’s candidature is currently endorsed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia Pacific regional grouping (APG) of the Human Rights Council. Malaysia had been an active member of the Human Rights Council twice before, from 2006- 2009 and 2010-2013.
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