Malaysians dominating (well, sort of) the UNFCCC!

Of all the 25,000 accredited participants attending the 21st session of Conference of Parties (COP21), what exactly are the Malaysians doing here? If you think we are here in Paris on holiday, or that Malaysia is just a “small and unknown” nation in the international arena, then you are wrong, so wrong.

I’m gonna let ya know what the awesome peeps from Malaysia are doin’ in COP21!

Negotiators are basically the national delegates that will be joining all kinds of formal and informal meetings, to negotiate the agreement text on behalf of their country and sometimes the bloc their countries are in.

  • Dr. Gary William Theseira is the Head of Malaysian Delegation for COP21. He is appointed as the coordinator for the G77 & China bloc which consist of 131 member states for the Durban Platform*.
  • Prof. Gurdial Singh Nijar, a senior practicing lawyer who is also the Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) bloc’s spokesperson. He is very famous in the UNFCCC and also the frequent applause-winner in the house.

From the roles of Dr. Gary and Prof Gurdial in the UNFCCC negotiation blocs, we can clearly see that Malaysia’s representatives are just as important and valuable as those of developing countries in the climate talks. They are people who are highly revered by delegations from countries like China and India.


Civil Society Representatives
The environmental NGO in UNFCCC consists of 2 major networks: Climate Action Network (CAN) and Climate Justice Now! (CJN).

  • CAN: Adrian Yeo is the person-in-charge of CAN- Southeast Asia or CAN-SEA. Additionally, he is also the founder of Power Shift Malaysia and was previously the YOUNGO Coordinator for the COP15 at Copenhagen in 2009. He is now actively building the capacity of the Malaysian youth in climate change movements and aiming to strengthen the bond betweens youths in Asia.
  • CJN: Next, there are three awesome fellow Malaysians that have been doing a great job in Third World Network (TWN), a member of the CJN. Hilary Chiew, Meenakshi Raman and Chee Sook Ling are the active members of TWN. Two of them are lawyers while the other is a climate expert.  “They have been very helpful over the years,” a comment from a Malaysian negotiator.


Youth Delegation
We are the first batch of the Malaysian Youth Delegation to COP. Though we are relatively new to the UNFCCC processes and climate policy discussions, we are in fact well-equipped with fundamental knowledge about the climate talks having gone through 10 trainings with our negotiators, climate and media experts, etc. (More details at Our Malaysian Youth Statement on Climate Change has also been acknowledged by our Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. We are proud that the MYD members are actively involved in the COP processes:

  • Amalen has been taking lead role in organizing the Asian Youth Meet-Up and in the YOUNGO Action Working Group
  • Elaine has been representing the ENGO by giving an intervention on the SBSTA closing plenary.
  • Emily, Jolene and Thomas are honoured to have had a conversation with our Former Prime Minister, YABhg Tun Dato Sri’  Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his spouse, YABhg Tun Jeanne Abdullah after the Launch of the Declaration on Agricultural Diversification.

We are looking forward to unlock more achievements in the upcoming week! On behalf of the Malaysian Youth Delegation, I would like to thank our COP21 partners, namely: University of Nottingham – Malaysia Campus, Selangor government, Negeri Sembilan government, United Nation Association Malaysia, and Axile Consulting Sdn Bhd. We would also like to thank our partners, who supported the MYD side events and trainings, namely Brickfields Asia College, British High Commission, IM4U, and AirAsia. Without these awesome organisations and institutions, MYD will not be able to reach where we are today!

So, Malaysia actually Boleh!

Author: Elaine See

Editor: Loh Rachel


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