SINGAPORE: Singapore will undertake a voluntary national review next year of its implementation of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals, with a particular focus on Goal 14 – Life Below Water, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.
Speaking on Thursday (Jun 8) at a UN conference on Goal 14, Dr Balakrishnan highlighted the need for sustainable development of the oceans in a “balanced and integrated manner”, and in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
“A rules-based international order provides the necessary framework for all states to operate on a common basis in the global environment. This is important even as we broaden our understanding of the ocean issues to include new areas such as the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction,” he said.
In line with this, Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore, together with Jamaica, Argentina, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and the UN Office of Legal Affairs had organised an event on Jun 6 to discuss how UNCLOS can play a central role in efforts to achieve Goal 14.
He added that delegations need to be guided by science and data, instead of politics and polemics, in getting the “right balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability”.
Outlining Singapore’s efforts to protect its marine environment, Dr Balakrishnan noted that the country has put in place measures to contribute to cleaner and greener shipping. Its rich marine biodiversity shows its efforts have borne fruit, even though marine debris remains a concern, he said.
“The point is if a small busy port like Singapore can have such natural resources and is making efforts to conserve it, surely everyone else can and should do so as well.”
In his speech, Dr Balakrishnan also reaffirmed Singapore’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Paris Pledge, under which Singapore aims to reduce its emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
The Foreign Affairs Minister also held bilateral meetings with the President of Palau Tommy Remengesau, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin and Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.