Malaysia Committed to UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals

Non-Aligned Movement has reaffirmed that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development -economic, social and environmental. NAM has called upon the Member States to work towards the implementation of the commitments contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the international development goals agreed at the major UN conferences and summits.

United Nations’ Global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development encompasses 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, eradicate inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years. Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement are committed to the Right to Development in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Malaysia adopted the United Nations’ Global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development on 25 September 2016. Since then, the country has made significant progress towards the realisation of the SDGs. The goals are incorporated in the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-20) which is formulated on the theme of “Anchoring Growth on People”.

The Eleventh Malaysia Plan, 2016-2020, focuses on enhancing inclusiveness by providing equitable opportunities for all Malaysians to participate and benefit from economic growth and development irrespective of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geographical location. This inclusive development approach is also in tandem with the spirit of leaving no one behind under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.

The mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan tabled in October 2018 highlights the commitment of the new Malaysian Government to achieve the targets of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The mid-term review reports on progress achieved in 2016 and 2017, and outlines the strategies from 2018 to 2020. During the review period, 2016-2017, implementation of various inclusive development initiatives contributed towards greater overall prosperity and better quality of life. This was evident from the improved median household income and income distribution. The mid-term review of the 11th Malaysian Plan identifies the following six pillars with 19 priority areas and 66 strategies aligned to the development strategy of the Malaysian government and balance economic growth objectives and fiscal consolidation initiatives to ensure continuous and inclusive development without impairing growth prospects.

The six pillars are: 1) Reforming governance towards greater transparency and enhancing efficiency of public service; 2) Enhancing inclusive development and wellbeing; 3) Pursuing balanced regional development; 4) Empowering human capital; 5) Enhancing environmental sustainability through green growth; and 6) Strengthening economic growth by enhancing productivity and increasing competitiveness of the industries.

There are important objectives outlined in the mid-term review that are related to the realisation of the SDGS. For example, the Malaysian government plans to explore a healthcare scheme that aims to create a national health financing scheme. The scheme will provide assistance for primary care treatment for the bottom 40% of households to ensure comprehensive health coverage, said the review, without providing a timeline.

According to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the reforms introduced in the mid-term review are aimed at accelerating innovation, boosting productivity, moving industries up the value chain, enhancing the wellbeing of the citizens, particularly the bottom 40% of the household income group and achieving inclusive growth. Mahatir remarked that “bold reforms that respond to the people’s mandate are imperative to achieve our vision to become a developed and inclusive nation … The principles of good governance, strong institutions as well as integrity and accountability will be reinforced throughout the administration of the new government to prevent corruption, leakages, misappropriation and abuse of power”.

Thus, the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan, with new priorities and emphases, augments the new Malaysian Government’s alignment to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals.

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