PM calls international community to adopt spirit of 'world family' to face global challenges

05 Jul 2022 03:51pm
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob - Photo: BERNAMA
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob - Photo: BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today called on the international community to work together by adopting the spirit of the 'world family' in facing global challenges, especially during the post-pandemic.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic had taught all countries that the current global challenges could not be tackled alone or in silos.

In fact, he said the world economy and politics were currently facing a complex post-pandemic situation apart from the increasing competition between the world's major powers.

"In Europe, for example, we are witnessing conflicts that have a devastating impact, not only on the people of the countries involved but also around the world.

"Hence, it is paramount for the world community to intensify efforts and preparations in the face of uncertainty and work together towards a more peaceful, progressive, inclusive and prosperous future," he said at the opening of the 35th Asia-Pacific Roundtable via a prerecorded video today.

Citing Malaysia as an example, the Prime Minister said the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) adopted to establish inclusive cooperation by prioritising togetherness and those in need, had proven effective in finding ways to achieve better solutions.

He said the increasingly complex and difficult global issues should serve as a reminder to policymakers about the importance of managing the challenges that could have adverse effects on future generations.

On Asean, Ismail Sabri said the association has always upheld its basic principles which prioritise Asean Centrality in facing past and future challenges.

He said the basic principles of Asean such as mutual cooperation and respect for national sovereignty, as well as the spirit of preserving regional peace and stability, had been its recipe for success.
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"In this regard, Asean has emerged as a respected and trusted concept for a regional multilateral mechanism. Nevertheless, Asean centrality will continue to be tested by internal and external pressures.

"For that, Asean also needs a combination of bilateral, multilateral and even minilateral mechanisms as well as the creativity and support of non-governmental organisations to succeed," he said.

Ismail Sabri said the competition between the world's superpowers should not be detrimental as proactive engagement with the superpowers would benefit the region.

"In this situation, Asean should be smart and prepared to cope with the effects of superpower competition.

"Asean's stability will have a positive impact on us and because of that it needs to remain strong and productive and remain the axis of regional engagement towards shaping new norms in the region," he said.

At the same time, he said the important role of China in the region cannot be denied as the republic had been Asean's main trading partner since 2009.

"In 2020, Asean has overtaken the European Union as China's main trading partner. Looking at China's economy and strategic position, Asean hopes to maintain positive and stable relations with Beijing," he said.

The Prime Minister said Asean should also continue to improve economic and diplomatic relations with the United States based on mutual respect and friendship.

"The United States, China and Southeast Asia must ensure that the spirit that binds bilateral and multilateral relations is preserved and strengthened based on long-standing compliance with international law.

"Even though we face great challenges, we must continue to stand strong together to find solutions to enjoy a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable future," he said. - BERNAMA