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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

NGO calls on govt to form Nat’l Consultative Council on Agenda 2030

KUALA LUMPUR: A non-governmental association has urged the government to establish a National Consultative Council on Agenda 2030 to participate in discussions pertaining to development, economy, human rights and the environment. 

The Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) secretary-general Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria said the council, similar to the Economic Planning Unit’s National Economic Consultative Council should be facilitated to enhance the participation of all stakeholders in an effective manner. “The federal government must ensure that this council is comprised of Malaysians from both sides of the political divide, as well as representatives from ethnic, professional societies, including members from academia, civil society and the private sector,” he said in a statement. 

He said Proham recognised Malaysia’s endorsement of the United Nations 2030 Global Agenda action plan in New York, during the United Nations General Assembly, recently. This action plan, which replaces the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), 

Denison added, is universal in nature and comprehensive in the range of issues and concerns addressed pertaining to development, economy, human rights and the environment. 

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has made an open pledge for its effective implementation in Malaysia and its role in the global and regional arena.” Denison said a lecture to discuss matters pertaining to human rights and sustainable development goals organised by Proham was recently held. The talk was delivered by former United Nations Coordination Specialist (Malaysia) Dr Lin Mui Kiang.

 “In the discussion, several key issues were raised which requires greater attention in Malaysia. 

First, the Agenda 2030 could serve as the Outline Perspective Plan for Malaysia (2016-2030) thereby encompassing three Malaysia Plans. “Concerns were also raised on effective implementation and monitoring. In this context, it was felt that capability building of the officers is necessary so that they can undertake the delivery in a more effective way,” he said. 

He also said the discourse of human rights in the country were very narrowly defined and inconsistent with the global agenda. Proham, he said, was concerned with the downplaying of the human rights framework for sustainable development, especially the empowerment of the poor, women and indigenous forest-based communities. 

“It was also felt that greater efforts must be taken by the government to collect and release data including dis-aggregated data to ensure all sections of the ‘bottom 40 per cent’ community especially forest-based communities and ethnic minorities have equal access to the services in the spirit of inclusive development for all. 

“Also, while it is the primary role of the civil service to ensure effective delivery and monitoring, it was felt that there must be greater space provided for civil society, academics and private sector participation in this process,” added Denison.

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