Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of the United States and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam of the Republic of Singapore met today on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum and reviewed the array of close bilateral, regional and global engagement between the two countries. They acknowledged the excellent state of bilateral relations between our countries and reiterated their common commitment to further strengthen our partnership and cooperation for the benefit of ASEAN and the broader Asia-Pacific region.
Our governments are fully dedicated to advancing the development goals of ASEAN Member States and contributing towards a strong and integrated ASEAN community. In February 2012, Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Shanmugam signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Singapore – United States Third Country Training Program (TCTP), which signaled our intent to jointly extend technical assistance to developing countries, particularly ASEAN countries in the lower Mekong sub-region. Under the TCTP, the United States and Singapore will draw on the expertise of their respective public sectors to develop innovative capacity building courses and programs to assist developing countries to address common challenges in a collaborative manner.
Since that time, we have made good progress on the implementation of TCTP projects under our Memorandum of Understanding. In June, experts from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Singapore’s National Water Agency, PUB conducted a Scenario Planning Workshop in Bangkok from June 18-21 for the Mekong River Commission (MRC) officials and staff aimed at strengthening the MRC’s capabilities in Integrated Water Resource Management. The United States and Singapore also intend to continue cooperation to bolster MRC technical capacity by conducting further collaborative training and technical workshops. We will also offer joint training in Singapore on the prevention of counterfeit health products for drug regulators from ASEAN Member States in August.
In addition to these initial pilot courses, the United States and Singapore are planning to implement a number of projects in 2012 and 2013 that will focus on building capacity of ASEAN Member States in a broad range of areas, including the delivery of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, public health, sustainable urban development, economic development, urban transport planning, and trade facilitation.
Today, the United States and Singapore reaffirm our commitment to addressing development needs in the region and to intensifying cooperation in this area of common interest. Our efforts will continue to be relevant to the needs of countries and in support of regional institutions including the East Asia Summit, ASEAN, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other relevant regional organizations and initiatives.
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12 July 2012