“We must shift our efforts from mere problem solving and conflict fixing to innovation, problem mitigation and trend setting in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

That was what envisioned by the Hon. Dr Maszlee Malik, Minister of Education of Malaysia and President of the Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO, during the opening of the Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP) Roundtable Discussion on 15 November 2019, as a side-event of the 40th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris, France.

The event, jointly organized by Permanent Delegation of Malaysia to UNESCO, Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO, and UNESCO Office in Jakarta, was focusing on promoting South-South Cooperation for sustainable development through education, sciences, culture, and communication and information.

With the attendance of around 100 participants, the discussion during the event highlighted the importance of promoting groups of champions and stakeholders, sharing experience and transferring of knowledge gained by collective efforts of experts, encouraging replication of results and best practices, and boosting symbiotic partnerships among multinational stakeholders. These activities will boost the South-South Cooperation in the context of international development cooperation and will effectively achieved the objectives of MUCP.

The panellists of the discussion representing the key actors and experts from Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Portuguese, Republic of Korea, and Timor-Leste. H.E State Minister of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Ethiopia, Prof Afework Kassu, during the questions and answers session, highlighted the significance of triangular cooperation in helping solidify multilateral dynamism to overcoming challenges.

Dr Shahbaz Khan, Director of the Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in Jakarta, in his closing remark reiterated that UNESCO and Malaysia shared the same goals in working together to create a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous world enjoyed by all, in line with the Malaysian Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

In general, the MUCP framework has engaged with at least 6,870 people through 29 projects with experts from more than 80 countries, and implemented in the 80% of countries from the Global South.