On September 30, Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato' Sri Saifuddin Abdullah visited PRIF as part of his first official visit to Germany. In a roundtable discussion on “Discourse on Peaceful Coexistence” the Foreign Minister, Dr. Adina Kamarudin (Director General of the Maritime Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia) and Datuk Dr. Anis Yusal Yusoff (President and Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Institute of Integrity) were in conversation with PRIF Director Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff and Dr. Pascal Abb, Senior Researcher with a research focus on East and Southeast Asia. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Stefan Kroll.
The Russian war in Ukraine has not only severely damaged the European security architecture. Its consequences for international relations are global. In addition to the immediate suffering in Ukraine, the impact on energy and food security poses a threat in many parts of the world. The crisis of global multilateralism, which has been ongoing for some time, has been exacerbated by the war and its aftermath. It has become even more difficult for the international community to collectively address global threats to security, the environment, and health. Against this backdrop, the panelists discussed how to regain lost trust in international relations.
“Peaceful coexistence” does not only refer to the Soviet concept from the Cold War era. There is also a concept of “peaceful coexistence” in the Asian tradition, which refers to the coexistence of societies after colonialism, as both the Foreign Minister and Dr. Pascal Abb pointed out. Participants discussed how peaceful coexistence is possible both within states and in the international community.
In addition to global challenges such as the war in Ukraine, economic and energy crises, and climate change, issues that are specifically important to Malaysia were also brought up. Dr. Adina Kamarudin described the various interests and conflict situations around the South China Sea. Datuk Dr. Anis Yusal Yusoff reported on a project that examines social cohesion in Malaysia and serves as an early warning system for ethnic conflicts. Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff emphasized the importance of discussing new ways of coexistence. Foreign Minister Dato' Sri Saifuddin Abdullah pointed out that peace starts with each individual, but is not possible without multilateral cooperation.