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Singapore to back Commonwealth support to small and developing states

2 November 2016

The Government of Singapore has pledged to support the Commonwealth’s sustainable development programme for small and developing states. 

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland met both Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan on an official visit to the country.

Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland calls on PM Lee https://t.co/OqgWLuedyr pic.twitter.com/Vp7Uj4Y0Uc

— The Straits Times (@STcom) November 2, 2016

The Prime Minister and Secretary-General exchanged views on the Commonwealth’s agenda and its role to promote cooperation on global challenges such as climate change, sustainable development, gender equality and youth empowerment.

Foreign Minister Balakrishnan also responded positively to a request from the Secretary-General to help fellow Commonwealth members develop practical tools for sustainable development.

Confirming his government’s commitment to share examples of successful practice, Dr Balakrishnan said:   

“The 52 member states of the Commonwealth are geographically diverse but mostly share a common constitutional, legal and linguistic heritage. The majority of member states are also small states like Singapore.

 “Six months into her term, the Secretary-General had many ideas on ways to address issues of concern to Commonwealth member states, such as climate change, good governance, gender equality and youth empowerment.”

He added: “We will continue to work with the Commonwealth to share Singapore’s experiences with other small and developing Commonwealth member states, in particular exchanging ideas on how small states can work towards sustainable development.”

During the visit, the Secretary-General urged countries to pool their knowledge and resources to accelerate progress on the internationally agreed sustainable development goals.

“Within our diverse membership we have countries of varying sizes and which are at different places along the spectrum of development. But many of them face similar challenges.

“One of the benefits of belonging to this group is that we can learn from each other. We can share what works and what doesn’t. This is why I am really pleased that the Government of Singapore has committed to support this effort. Singapore is an exemplar of good development. It’s reassuring to know that we have its support in achieving our goal of sustainable development for all.”