Statement by the Permanent Representative of Singapore, at the Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly, 27 October 2023, New York

29 October 2023

Mr President,


1 Singapore welcomes the convening of this Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly.  We are disappointed that the Security Council, which had met on several occasions to discuss this issue, was not able to agree on a prompt and united response.



Mr President,


2 At the outset, I wish to express Singapore’s utmost support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to sustain the flow of humanitarian assistance to the civilians affected by this terrible tragedy in Gaza.  We commend the Secretary-General for his leadership role in facilitating the flow of humanitarian assistance and recognize the important contributions made by UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations on the ground.  We support all efforts to defuse tensions in order to avoid an escalation of the conflict.



Mr President,


3 Respect for the UN Charter and for international law has always been a fundamental guiding principle of Singapore’s foreign policy. The UN Charter and international law provide the foundation for international peace and security.   



4 On the 7th of October, Hamas carried out a major coordinated terrorist attack on Israel - deliberately targeting civilians, murdering and kidnapping them and perpetrating abhorrent acts of terror.  We mourn the loss and suffering of so many innocent civilians, including children and the elderly.  This attack cannot be condoned or justified by any rationale. We condemn this terrorist attack in the strongest possible terms. We also call for the immediate and safe release of all hostages taken by Hamas.



5 In this regard, it is worth recalling that just in June this year, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. This calls for the international community to reiterate its “strong and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes”[1].



Mr President,


6 Under international law, Israel has the legitimate right to defend its citizens and its territory.  However, Israel also has an obligation to comply with international humanitarian law.  All parties must abide by international humanitarian law and do their utmost to protect the safety and security of civilians. We welcome all efforts to establish and uphold safe zones and routes that will keep civilians out of harm’s way and allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.    



7 Singapore is deeply saddened by the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the loss of so many civilian lives. This is a massive humanitarian crisis.  We urge all parties involved to allow the rapid, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid and essential services to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. The Singapore Government has made a financial contribution to support humanitarian relief operations through the Singapore Red Cross.  Many Singaporeans have also made their own contribution to the relief operations and it is our hope that their contributions will reach those in need quickly.



Mr President,


8 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a longstanding one, and it must be resolved in accordance with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.  This is the only way to stop the repeated cycles of violence.   



9 Singapore’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been consistent. We continue to hold the view that the only viable path to a durable, just, and comprehensive solution is a negotiated two-state solution, consistent with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.  We support the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland, and Israel’s right to live within secure borders. Both Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in peace, security, and dignity. We call on leaders from both sides to show leadership, to exercise restraint and to take the difficult but necessary steps towards the vision of a two-state solution.  



10 Thank you.


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[1] OP1 of UNGA resolution A/RES/77/298 on Global Counter Terrorism Strategy Review

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