Malaysia Cites Muslim Peace-Broking Record in UN Council Push

Malaysia said its track-record as a moderate Muslim nation and peace facilitator makes it well-suited to be chosen as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

The Southeast Asian nation is lobbying to hold the rotating seat for a year from 2015, Malaysia’s foreign ministry said in a statement today. A decision isn’t expected until the UN General Assembly in October 2014.

Malaysia hosted the first round of formal peace talks between the Thai government and Muslim separatists this year in a bid to stem violence that has killed more than 5,000 people in the past decade. It’s also mediating with some Islamic rebel groups seeking autonomy in the southern Philippines.

“If Malaysia is chosen as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, we will show our unanimous support with other member countries in finding a peaceful and lasting solution in world conflicts,” Anifah Aman, Malaysia’s foreign minister, said in an e-mailed statement today. “The acceptance will allow Malaysia to share its experience in resolving conflicts.”

The Philippines launched air strikes against Muslim rebels yesterday as President Benigno Aquino sought to bring an end to a standoff that has killed 87 people and complicated efforts to bring peace to the south. Seventy-one Moro National Liberation Front fighters have died in recent clashes, and 64 have surrendered or been captured, military spokesman Major Angelo Guzman said in a mobile-phone message.

The violence complicates peace talks the Philippine government is holding in Malaysia with another rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which signed a wealth-sharing agreement in July.

Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy, has held a UN Security Council seat three times previously, most recently in 1999-2000. It submitted an application to resume the position in 2015 back in 2001, the foreign ministry said.

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