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Singapore joined the UN after gaining independence in 1965. Singapore, as a small nation-state, has benefited significantly from UN membership. Small states like Singapore now comprise more than half of the UN membership, and we believe that through closer cooperation, small states can play a greater and more meaningful role in the UN. The UN Charter’s principles of sovereign equality, the peaceful settlement of disputes and non-interference in the internal affairs of states are especially precious to small states. The principle of "one state, one vote" in the General Assembly has also helped to give small states a voice in international affairs. It ensures that the views, interests and concerns of small states are taken into consideration in world affairs. The UN has made the world a safer and better place for small states.

Singapore believes in the need to develop a strong, cohesive and effective UN that is responsive to the needs of its members. 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 believes that 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 to strengthen engagement between the G20 and non-G20 members, so that the actions and decisions of processes like the G20 can complement and strengthen the UN.

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). Singapore 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.


  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan attended the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York from 23 to 29 September 2018. Minister Balakrishnan delivered Singapore’s statement at the General Debate of the UNGA, hosted the 11th Global Governance Group Ministerial Meeting (3GMM) and chaired the Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. He also had a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from different regions.

  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan attended the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (The Ocean Conference) in New York from 7 to 8 June 2017. Minister Balakrishnan delivered Singapore’s national statement and had a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from different regions. 

  • Minister (Environment and Water Resources) Masagos Zulkifli presented Singapore’s first Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York in July 2018.

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