Input to Preparatory Process
A/C.2/68/L.67 (Para 13) - Invites participants in the meetings of the Preparatory Committee to send
written inputs on the objectives and substantive theme of the Conference to the
Secretariat in advance of the first meeting of the Committee, and invites the
Secretariat to make them available electronically;
STATEMENT BY MR BORG TSIEN THAM
PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON THE FIRST PREPARATORY COMMITTEE MEETING FOR THE THIRD UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SMALL ISLANDS DEVELOPING STATES,
25 FEBRUARY 2014
I would like to begin by aligning Singapore with the statements by Bolivia, on behalf of the G77 and China; and by Nauru, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
The substantive theme for the Conference - The Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States through genuine and durable partnership – is one which strongly resonates with Singapore. At 700km2, Singapore is slightly bigger than Manhattan but smaller than the five boroughs of New York. Given Singapore’s land and resource constraints, sustainable development is a necessity. In this regard, our policies on education, employment, housing, infrastructure, transport and the environment are well-integrated into a long-term and holistic vision. As a result, Singapore has managed to pursue growth whilst preserving a good living environment.
As a small island developing state, Singapore identifies closely with our fellow SIDS countries’ urgent concerns. As Chair of the Forum of Small States (FOSS) in the UN – an informal grouping of 105 states, Singapore will continue to work with the members of FOSS to share the perspectives of small states.
It is thus from the perspective of a small state that we believe that genuine and durable partnerships for the sustainable development of small states are practical, implementable and achievable. In this connection, Singapore strongly supports South-South and Triangular cooperation, but they complement rather than substitute North-South cooperation and overseas development aid (ODA).
It was from this context that we established the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) in 1992 to share our developmental experience with our friends - both our successes, and our failures. We believe that technical assistance and capacity building is more effective in creating the right conditions for sustainable development. More than 80,000 government officials from 170 countries have received training under the SCP in diverse areas like sustainable urban development, water management and human resource development. As the Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam stressed in his statement to the General Assembly during the High Level Debate last September, Singapore will develop and customise new programmes on sustainable development and climate change that meet the needs of SIDS and least developed countries.
As we prepare for the important meeting in Samoa later this year, we hope that the special vulnerabilities of small states will be taken into consideration and that the partnerships which will be forged will be enduring and sustainable. We will also continue to work with members of FOSS to identify and the priorities of small states and particularly the SIDS to ensure that these are factored into the elaboration of the post-2015 Development Agenda. In this regard, Singapore is of the view that the outcome document of the Third SIDS conference should be concise, action-oriented, and focused on the special needs and situations of the SIDS.
I thank you.