Dollah passionate in his convictions

11 Oct 1998

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The present impasse will drag on well into the millennium.

I do not see much hope that it will be resolved unless the "main antagonists" in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America compromise and I do not see it coming till the cows come home.

Fulci told the Diplomatic World Bulletin (July-August '98 issue) that besides being an economic power and a large contributor to the UN funds "one other crucial factor is who is ready to give the most precious of all things the life of its young men and women for the cause of peace in the world?"

Fulci readily admits that he has been at times a bit cruel to the Japanese for telling them this: "we understand your philosophy: You pay and we die."

"No. We will not accept that type of philosophy at the United Nations."

The veteran Italian diplomat seems to touch the nerve of many nations - perhaps enough to stall the Japanese and German elevation to the prestigious and powerful permanent seats, for a long time if not quite indefinitely

Malaysia has reentered the Council at an interesting and challenging time.

We will perform our duty well as we did in the past.

Even after the end of the Cold War, the Council continues to face increasing number of conflicts around the world.

Kuala Lumpur has been given a great trust, yet another honour.

The unanimous choice of Asia and its "Voice" shall discharge its great responsibility without fear or favour as was and is Malaysian custom in international relations.

Our term begins in the New Year and the chief spokesman will be Datuk Hasmy Agam, our 14th Permanent Representative to the world body

An elated Hasmy said to me: "unbelievable result. We worked hard for it and we have been rewarded. Thank heavens."

I was, as always, rather optimistic.

However, it did not cross my mind because of the consistently unfavourable publicity about us, almost like a campaign against Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, that we would have scored this resounding victory.

Of course, I knew we would win - my own prediction was 135 votes and Hasmy's 155.

Another Malaysian diplomat thought we would lose because of events at home.

In any event, what a convincing endorsement!

The Security Council of the UN is the most exclusive "club" in the world.

I have heard many people, important persons, who speak derisively of the UN they spend a great deal of time criticizing it, but in the end, none of them would want to quit it.

Nations compete for membership of this club because it lends great prestige and authority to their governments.

The Security Council is the only UN body which makes decisions affecting peace and security around the world and its resolutions are binding.

The make-up of the 1999-2000 Council - the US, Britain, Russia, France, China Malaysia, Bahrain, Brazil, Gabon, Gambia, Slovenia Canada, Namibia, Argentina and the Netherlands.

The UN is a good and useful meeting place for diplomats and at which world leaders can hobnob and exchange opinions or frivolous niceties.

Dato' Abdullah Ahmad is Malaysia's Special Envoy to the United Nations

(This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of Sun )