Senior Minister of State (SMS), Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman attended the Third Conference on Cooperation Among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development Ministerial Meeting (CEAPAD III) in Bangkok, Thailand on 26 to 27 June 2018.
At CEAPAD III, SMS Maliki delivered a statement re-affirming Singapore’s support for the Palestinians’ capacity-building efforts, where relevant and within our means. The full text of SMS Maliki’s statement is at Annex.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
STATEMENT BY SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE, MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AND MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DR MOHAMAD MALIKI BIN OSMAN AT THE THIRD CONFERENCE ON COOPERATION AMONG EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES FOR PALESTINIAN DEVELOPMENT MINISTERIAL MEETING, BANGKOK,
1 Mr Co-Chairmen, I join my colleagues in thanking Japan and Thailand for organising the Third Conference on Cooperation Among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) Ministerial Meeting, and for the warm hospitality extended to my delegation. Singapore is glad to be part of this important process. We see the CEAPAD as an invaluable platform for the sharing of knowledge and experiences to best contribute to Palestinian developmental efforts. We have thus actively participated in CEAPAD meetings and activities since the inception of CEAPAD in 2013.
2 Singapore is committed to supporting the Palestinians’ capacity-building efforts. We focus on providing technical assistance in areas that we are good at, and that are of relevance and interest to our Palestinian friends. Under the ambit of the Singapore Cooperation Programme, we have trained over 340 Palestinian officials in the fields of good governance, public administration, urban planning and much more. We have also put together an Enhanced Technical Assistance Package (ETAP), that is specifically meant to support Palestinian capacity-building efforts. This package includes a Technical Vocational Education and Training component, post-graduate scholarships and study visits that are tailored to meet the Palestinians’ specific needs. In fact, we announced this ETAP at the First CEAPAD Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo in 2013. We have since doubled the quantum of the package to S$10 million in 2016.
3 Mr Co-Chairmen and colleagues, I am also pleased to inform you that since the Second CEAPAD Ministerial Meeting in 2014, technical cooperation between Singapore and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has been on the uptick. In the last four years, we hosted six Palestinian delegations for customised study visits in a variety of sectors. For example in November 2017, representatives from the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority came to learn about our experience in economic development and planning. Most recently in April this year, we organised a study visit on developments in the Asia-Pacific for the PNA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.
4 We have received positive feedback on the quality and impact of our technical assistance programmes. During my trip to Ramallah in November 2016, I was glad to hear first-hand from our Palestinian friends that our initiatives were well-received. I had the privilege to host some Palestinian alumni of the Singapore Cooperation Programme for dinner. They shared with me their fond memories of Singapore and key takeaways of their training, which they found to be very meaningful. During that visit, I also informed His Excellency Foreign Minister Dr Riyad Al-Maliki of Mr Hawazi Daipi’s appointment as Singapore’s first Non-Resident Representative to the PNA, to coordinate the growing technical cooperation between Singapore and Ramallah.
5 Singapore also actively looks into partnering third parties to jointly provide the PNA with technical assistance. One good example is Japan. Over 70 Palestinian officials have attended courses held under the ambit of the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century. We are currently in discussions with the Japan International Cooperation Agency on conducting an ICT training programme and leadership development training for Palestinian officials. Recently, Temasek Foundation International, a Singaporean non-government philanthropic organisation, partnered with Singapore’s Civil Service College to provide training on governance and public administration to the PNA. We look forward to exploring more such joint undertakings in the future.
6 Mr Co-Chairmen, Singapore will continue to do our part by sharing our developmental experience with the PNA where relevant and within our means. We hope that our efforts can benefit the Palestinian people as they work towards the goal of an independent state under the framework of a two-state solution, with Palestine and Israel living side-by-side in peace and security. Singapore looks forward to the convening of the next CEAPAD Ministerial Meeting. Thank you.
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