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. The UN needs to be constantly revitalised to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Singapore firmly supports and participates actively in the continuing process of UN Reform.

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 agencies such as the UN Department for Political Affairs, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in support of their work in the region. Together with the UNDP, we have also established the Global Centre for Public Service Excellence in Singapore, which is dedicated to policy research and the global exchange of knowledge and information on public service policies, strategies and institutions.


  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan attended the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York from 21 to 26 September 2017. Minister delivered Singapore’s statement at the General Debate of the UNGA and attended several meetings including: the 10th Global Governance Group Ministerial Meeting (3GMM) and 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 at the Conference and also had bilateral meetings with the President of Palau Tommy Remengesau and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica Kamina Johnson Smith

Last updated: October 2017