Commonwealth embraces Malaysia’s moderation approach

By Monday October 31st, 2011 No Comments

COMMONWEALTH leaders at the end of their meeting yesterday agreed to embrace Malaysia’s initiative for the Global Movement of the Moderates, and welcomed Malaysia’s offer to host CHOGM 2019.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who led the Malaysian delegation to the four-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting here, said these were contained in their final communique.

“CHOGM’s acceptance of the initiative and its inclusion in the communique means that the Commonwealth Secretariat needs to uphold the Global Movement of the Moderates,” he said after the close of the biennial meeting.

Fifty-three Commonwealth leaders attended the meeting themed “Building national resilience, building global resilience”.

In a 17-point communique, the prime minister’s initiative was the seventh point. It underpins commitment to a stable and secure national and international environment as a foundation for sustainable growth and resilience for Commonwealth countries and the broader international community.

“Embracing moderation as an important value to overcome all forms of extremism, as called for in the ‘Global Movement of the Moderates’,” it read.

Najib said a major seminar on this initiative with the participation of thought leaders from around the world was being planned in Kuala Lumpur in January.

The International Islamic University alumni will host the event.

“It is now up to us to crystallise the initiative in terms of activities and programmes that can strengthen the concept, principles and values associated with it.” On whether the government would be institutionalising this initiative, Najib said that would represent the second stage and that it would be announced later.

The Global Movement of the Moderates had been Najib’s message of peace since he first unveiled it at the United Nations general assembly in New York last year.

His pitch is that moderates must be able to take global centre stage again.

Such a movement would reclaim the agenda for peace and pragmatism in today’s world, he had said.

On Malaysia’s “bid” to host CHOGM 2019, Najib said it was an early offer as the final decision had not been made.

No member country had offered to host the meeting in 2017.

“Malaysia intends to begin the process by making known our wish to host CHOGM 2019 because that is a significant year — it would be 30 years after Malaysia first hosted CHOGM in 1989.” The next CHOGM in 2013 will be in Sri Lanka while Mauritius will be host in 2015.

On the outcome of the meeting which many had hoped would be a landmark CHOGM towards reform, renewal and resilience, Najib said it signified the leaders’ aspiration to make the body more relevant and more effective in the 21st century.

“The conference also reinforced the leaders’ commitment to and the realisation of the fundamental values of the Commonwealth — democracy, rule of law and human rights.” Najib said while the “spirit of the Commonwealth” was still alive and the desire and commitment for change was evident, the major challenge was “the execution part”, in terms of resources.

Najib said leaders also agreed to act on food security and climate change as well as recognise “women as agents of change” as the subtheme of CHOGM.

Najib was accompanied here by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Source : New Straits Times

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