Singapore supports sustainable development of the Arctic and will work with incoming Chair Russia to actively particpate in various Council Working Groups
SENIOR Minister of State (SMS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Development, Sim Ann represented Singapore virtually at the 12th Arctic Council (AC) Ministerial Meeting on 20th May 2021. Singapore’s Special Envoy for Arctic Affairs Sam Tan and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attended the meeting.
According to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs media release the meeting reviewed the AC’s progress under Iceland’s two-year Chairmanship which was then handed over to Russia for the term 2021 to 2023.
SMS Sim delivered a statement expressing Singapore’s readiness to continue working with Arctic States and the incoming AC Chair Russia on issues such as sustainable development, providing assistance to the Arctic Indigenous Peoples, youth engagement, and the conservation of Arctic flora and fauna. Singapore’s statement is appended.
As a low-lying coastal state, Singapore is vulnerable to rising sea levels; the Arctic is a barometer of climate change. Singapore contributes to the climate change agenda by participating in high-level international Arctic events, and raising regional awareness of Arctic issues. This is the fourth time Singapore has attended the AC Ministerial Meeting. Since joining the AC as an Observer State in 2013, Singapore has been supporting the sustainable development of the Arctic. This includes active participation in various AC Working Groups, and sharing Singapore’s best practices and knowledge in areas such as preventing oil spills, conserving biodiversity, marine shipping, and sustainable energy development.
|About the Arctic Council
It is the leading intergovernmental forum for discussing political, economic, environmental and scientific issues concerning the governments and inhabitants of the Arctic region. The AC work also includes issues such as sustainable development and environmental protection of the Arctic region; disseminating information, encouraging education, and promoting interest in the Arctic.
Following is the STATEMENT BY SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, SIM ANN FOR THE 12th ARCTIC COUNCIL MINISTERIAL MEETING, 20th MAY 2021
Singapore would like to commend Iceland for its excellent Chairmanship of the Council. Its Chairmanship focus on “Towards a Sustainable Arctic”, not only reflects Iceland’s commitment to sustainable development; it also highlights the need for closer cooperation between Arctic States, people of the region, and stakeholders beyond.
Since joining the Arctic Council as an Observer State in 2013, Singapore has been supporting the sustainable development of the Arctic, including through active participation in various Council Working Groups, and sharing Singapore’s best practices and knowledge in areas such as preventing oil spills, conserving biodiversity, marine shipping, and sustainable energy development. In the area of Arctic research, Singapore has contributed to the scientific discourse on Arctic shipping governance; carbon cycling of permafrost soils; and sea-level change in the Arctic. In addition, we continue to offer a technical cooperation package to enhance human resource development and governance capacities for the Permanent Participants.
Singapore looks forward to closely working with the incoming Russian Chair to contribute meaningfully to the work of the Council. Sustainable development is one important area that requires collaboration from all stakeholders, which we have emphasised in the recently launched Singapore Green Plan 2030. In line with this, we look forward to supporting the work of sustainable development of the Arctic and environmental issues such as marine litter and green shipping. We will endeavour to continue improving the quality of life of the Indigenous Peoples through relevant technical cooperation programmes for Permanent Participants. The Council can also count on Singapore’s active participation in the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group on the Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) project. With a growing number of Singaporean youths taking an interest in the Arctic, we will also explore possible synergies to strengthen the Arctic Council’s youth engagement.
Last, but not least, Singapore would like to congratulate the Arctic Council on its 25th anniversary. Over the past two decades, the Council has successfully performed its role as the leading intergovernmental forum in promoting cooperation in the Arctic. Singapore stands ready to work with the Council and all stakeholders to strengthen international collaboration and address current and emerging issues to find a common way towards a sustainably prosperous Arctic.