- POSTED: 29 Sep 2013 15:46
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Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam has told the United Nations General Assembly that Singapore is ready and able to help other countries.
SINGAPORE: Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam has told the United Nations General Assembly that Singapore is ready and able to help other countries.
He shared Singapore's development experience, saying its journey over the last 50 years had put it in a strong position to assist other countries.
However, he insisted any development had to be sustainable.
Speaking before the UN General Assembly, Mr Shanmugam presented a message of change - but change under the right conditions. He said that was needed now more than ever.
"Over the last decade, the world has experienced a string of crises. Development has slowed, confidence in the global economic system has been shaken."
He stressed that while development should be pursued, it had to be sustainable and human progress should not be allowed to come at the expense of the planet.
"We cannot go on with business as usual. We need to re-think, re-tool our economies and societies and place poverty eradication and sustainability at the centre of our developmental agenda."
Despite being only slightly bigger than Manhattan, Mr Shanmugam said Singapore was well placed to help other countries. Speaking about the post-independence years, he said Singapore has boosted education and skills development while also ensuring green spaces were maintained.
"Given Singapore's land and resource constraints, sustainable development was a necessity not just a slogan. Despite our rapid development, we have managed to preserve much of our bio diversity," he explained.
As such, Mr Shanmugam said Singapore is in a position to help other countries.
"Although we are a small country, we will continue to play our part in assisting other countries in poverty eradication and furthering the agenda for sustainable development."
Mr Shanmugam said it was crucial that the the views and concerns of small states, like Singapore, be taken into consideration.
He said with small states making up more than half of the UN's membership, it was important that they be properly heard.