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Singapore Reaffirms Commitment to Sustainable Development for All

Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State (SMS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Development has reaffirmed Singapore’s commitment to assisting the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in attaining the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and urged the international community to assist the LDCs in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The reaffirmation was conducted during the recently held Fifth United Nations Conference on the LDCs in Doha, Qatar. The Sustainable Development Goals discussed by SMS Sim include supporting climate resilience; bridging the finance gap; advancing digital transformation; and bolstering global alliances.

She also discussed the Singapore Cooperation Programme’s engagement with other developing nations to improve their capacity building. “When we adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, we made the fundamental commitment to ‘leave no one behind’. We have now reached the critical mid-point of our journey.”

According to her, it is of the utmost importance to reaffirm this fundamental commitment and intensify efforts to address the needs and objectives of the LDCs. Singapore desires to honour its commitment to the LDCs through collective and real action. SMS Sim identifies four areas where the country should concentrate its efforts.

First, climate resilience support. Least culpable for climate change, yet among the severely afflicted, are the LDCs. To help LDCs create long-term resilience against the effects of climate change, the international community must greatly increase its technical and financial support. In this regard, the country strongly supports the objective of providing 50% of climate financing for climate adaptation.

Second, addressing the funding deficit. The inability of LDCs to reduce poverty, respond to external shocks, invest in their people, and establish inclusive societies is hampered by rising fiscal deficits and debt loads. The global financial system must be reformed to deliver the size and reliability of finance required to accomplish the SDGs.

Accelerate digital transformation, third. The COVID-19 epidemic has expedited the global adoption of digital technology, but it has also exposed the vast digital divide between and within nations. In LDCs, just 25% of the population uses the Internet, compared to 80% in rich economies.

“If we are serious about closing the digital divide, we will need to step up efforts to promote universal connectivity, enhance digital skills and training, and invest in digital infrastructure,” says SMS Sim.

Fourth, developing international alliances. The global experience with COVID-19 has demonstrated that multilateral cooperation is the best course of action moving forward. Singapore heartily endorses the Doha Action Programme’s demand for a rebuilt and strengthened global partnership, with South-South cooperation as a key component. Since 1992, the platform for technical cooperation with developing nations has been the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP).

It began as a means for Singapore to share its development expertise and repay the aid it had received during its early years. The nation has collaborated with United Nations organisations to implement projects in Asia-Pacific and Africa.

The collaborations with Third Countries, such as Chile, Japan, Qatar, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States, have promoted North-South and South-South Cooperation. So far, they have hosted close to 150,000 government officials as part of the SCP programmes, with over 40% coming from LDCs.

This year, SMS Sim will begin a three-year Sustainability Action Package to help the capacity-building of all developing nations, with a focus on resilience-building strategies, green project management and financing, and carbon market development. She added that they will continue to work with their partners to pool resources and expertise to better meet the needs of LDCs.


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