Foreign Policy

Subsequence to the persistence, a resolution has been taken in the 38th session of the United Nations where the General-Secretary of United Nations must make a thorough study on Antarctica issues which included the distribution of natural resource which available and the ‘Antarctica Treaty System’. Malaysia was able to get a United Nations resolution to involve issue of distribution of Antarctic natural resources in the upcoming United Nations agenda in November 1984.

However, Malaysia failed to obtain a resolution for the establishment of the United Nations committee to replace the ‘Antarctica Treaty system’ as there were strong protests from the countries of ‘Antarctica Treat System’ which were United State of America and Russia. Malaysia assumes that the continent of Antarctica as important in the terms of its influence on ‘Ecology’ and the surrounding world and the world’s climate. For example, 90% of the world’s fresh water which consist in the form of ice and snow were available in Antarctica.

Besides, it also contains a potential supply of foodstuffs and raw materials such as iron minerals, coal, chromium, uranium, cobalt, nickel, copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver, platinum, oil and gas. Furthermore, there are also plants and animals that only consist in Antarctica and there are some which are rare in other places. Based on these facts, Malaysia demands the continent in Antarctica to become common heritage for common benefits for the whole world.

In December 1959, issues which involve the affairs of Antarctica was managed by the representatives of the countries which are the members of the ‘Antarctica Treaty System’. Then, Malaysia has a view that the system only benefits the minor group of members of the ‘Antarctica Treaty System’. The system is not fair as the membership structure in the form of two levels (two-tier) because the decision can only be made by 16 countries which are the former members of the treaty, though there are another 12 countries which are also the members of the treaty.

These 12 countries are only allowed to conduct research without having the power to vote or making decision. This is against to the objectives of the former agreement in the ‘Antarctica Treaty’ where Antarctica should be managed by international committee for the benefits of all mankind. Moreover, 160 countries were in the United Nations currently which most of them are composed of developing countries. Therefore, their rights and their views should be taken into consideration by the international committee of Antarctica.

The privilege in the management system based on the Antarctica was not been satisfied. The former member countries held several closed-door meeting without the knowledge of the other members. These closed-door meeting was held in order to establish a mineral regime for the purpose of mining mineral substances in their area. With the advent of Sea-Bed Convention on the Law of the Sea and the suggestion of formation of International Sea-Bed Authority, the mineral regime which proposed by members of the Antarctic Treaty is extremely against to most other countries.

Mineral regime is another attempt by the former members of the agreement to enhance their power in the opinion of Malaysia. Nevertheless, the activities of mining mineral substances can cause massive destruction to the system ecology in Antarctica. The objectives of this policy are to share the minerals in Antarctica for the benefits of all human beings. Next, it is to preserve the ecology and environment of the world. Besides, Antarctica is use to encourage the concept of ‘disarmament, ‘denuclearisation’ and ‘demilitarisation’

It is hoped that the suggestions as well as Malaysia’s proposal to make Antarctica as the common heritage for the common benefit of the entire world will be take into the consideration of the organizations of the United Nations. THE CONCEPT OF ZONE OF PEACE, FREEDOM AND NEUTRALITY (ZOPFAN) IN SOUTHEAST ASIA As the block that can be regarded as non-communist Southeast Asia, ASEAN in reality stick to neutrality. Malaysia’s proposal for the creation of zone of peace, freedom and neutrality or ZOPFAN was accepted as the ASEAN stance.

The concept and this policy was announced in Kuala Lumpur by our 4th prime minister who was Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on the 27th November 1971. There are some important factors and events that occurred in Southeast Asia which thrust rise to the concept of the Zone of peace,Freedom and Neutrality. These factors and events are the position of Southeast Asia is quite strategic to the great powers in the context of East-West political tensions; political upheaval in Vietnam as well as the results of withdrawal of British troops from Southeast Asia and the United States from Vietnam in the early 70s.

These developments had created anxiety among the ASEAN countries, as it may affect regional stability. Next, the wars in Korea and Vietnam ASEAN convinced that intervention and support military superpowers conflict smaller countries of Southeast Asia are often threatened the stability of this region. Furthermore, at the time there was a spirit of ‘regionalisma’ which created ASEAN regional economic cooperation that can be used as a catalyst to achieve ZOPFAN.

The objective of Zone of peace, Freedom and Neutrality is to make Southeast Asia a region of peace, freedom and neutrality of political bickering major powers particularly the United States, Russia and People’s Republic of China. Among the key strategies that have been formulated and implemented to achieve these objectives are by getting the great powers approval, recognition and guarantee about the objective and efforts to realise the concept. Next, it is to protract foreign military troops from Southeast Asia in the long run.

Moreover, it makes Southeast Asia as a region free of nuclear weapon. In conclusion, the willingness of great powers to recognize and guarantee Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality is essential for the creation of ZOPFAN. In addition, support from all members of the ASEAN countries is also needed. However, ASEAN’s determination to continue to pursue the concept ZOPFAN is reflected by the ASEAN’s efforts to finda political solution in Cambodia based on the resolution of the United nations Organisation and the declaration of Internatonal Conference on Kampuchea 1981.