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United Nations (UN)

Singapore joined the UN on 21 September 1965 after gaining independence on 9 August 1965. Small states like Singapore now comprise more than half of the UN membership and can play a more meaningful role in the UN. The UN Charter's principles of sovereign equality, peaceful settlement of disputes and non-interference in the internal affairs of states are especially important to small states. The principle of "one state, one vote" in the General Assembly has given small states a voice in international affairs.

Singapore supports many UN initiatives including the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and participates actively in the ongoing process of UN Reform to ensure that the UN is revitalised to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Singapore also served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) from 2001 to 2002. During this term, Singapore sought to bring the perspective of small states to the UNSC,
reflect developing countries’ concerns, and make the UNSC more transparent and accountable to the larger UN membership.

The UN is the only global body with universal participation and unquestioned legitimacy. Thus, other global processes like the G20 should recognise and reflect this reality. In this regard, groups like the Global Governance Group (3G) (comprising 30 small and medium-sized states, which Singapore helped to form at the UN) can help strengthen engagement between the G20 and non-G20 members. 

Singapore has worked closely with UN bodies such as the UN Department for Political Affairs, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in support of their work in the region. Together with the UNDP, we have repositioned the UNDP Global Policy Centre in Singapore as the Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development (GC-TISD). We will work with the GC-TISD to assist fellow developing countries in achieving the SDGs using Singapore’s experience as a living lab for global sustainability solutions.


  • PM Lee Hsien Loong led Singapore’s delegation to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) from 21 September to 27 September 2019. PM Lee delivered Singapore’s National Statement at the opening of the General Debate of the 74th UNGA, attended a series of UN meetings, and addressed the UN Climate Action Summit convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

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