SINGAPORE: Singapore has adopted the themes of “resilience” and “innovation” for its ASEAN chairmanship because of the need for the grouping to strengthen its collective resilience against growing transboundary threats, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Apr 27).
These threats, he said, include terrorism, climate change and cybersecurity.
There is also a need for ASEAN to make use of technology and innovation as sources of growth and development in order to improve its people’s lives, he added.
In his speech delivered at a working dinner during the 32nd ASEAN Summit, he said that Singapore hopes to work with its ASEAN partners to tackle these shared concerns.
“We do not expect to resolve all the issues within the one-year span of our chairmanship, but we do hope to prompt a productive discussion and develop a consensus on an overall approach, as crystallised in our vision statement, to take ASEAN forward,” he said.
"We also hope to put forth tangible initiatives that will contribute to a resilient and innovative ASEAN."
Leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries are in Singapore this week for the summit and related meetings. The summit is the first gathering of the ASEAN leaders hosted in Singapore this year.
The leaders will discuss ASEAN’s priorities, as well as the challenges and opportunities that it faces, with a focus on strengthening the regional bloc’s resilience and innovation.
They will also exchange views on regional and international developments, according to a Government statement released on Tuesday.