World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN2K: Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong

PERMANENT MISSION OF SINGAPORE
TO THE UNITED NATIONS

STATEMENT BY
MR GOH CHOK TONG

PRIME MINISTER OF SINGAPORE

AT THE
MILLENNIUM SUMMIT OF THE UNITED NATIONS

7 SEPTEMBER 2000


Mr and Madam Co-President

Our world is becoming more globalised, yet at the same time more fragmented. Technological advances have brought the world closer. But they have also opened up divides between those who are able to cope with the resultant challenges, and those who lack the capacity to do so.

2 We need to update and strengthen the United Nations, to deal with these new problems, as well as the stubborn old ones. We need to do so because no nation can tackle these challenges alone

.

3 I wish to highlight three areas of concern in this regard.

4 First, the nation state is being redefined. The power within states is flowing downwards and being localised in provinces and cities. At the same time, state sovereignty is being circumscribed by regional

and multilateral organisations. Furthermore, new actors for example, global corporations, some of whom have larger outputs than the GDPs of some member states, and NGOs, some of whom have more international

clout than some governments are now a prominent and integral part of international life. How do we engage these new power players in a constructive way in the United Nations? What balance can we find between the national role of sovereign states and the international mandate of multilateral organizations ?

5 Second, there is growing empowerment of the market in recent years. The financial industry holds more assets than the central banks of the world combined. The value of our national currencies is determined

everyday by the market rather than by our central banks. Three years ago, dramatic flows of volatile short-term capital destabilised economies and wiped out years of hard work in several Asian countries.

6 However, opting out of the global market is not a solution. So how can the United Nations help developing countries build the capabilities that will enable them to become part of the new world? How can we help small economies maintain control of their destiny as they liberalise and open up?

7 Third, globalisation and the knowledge revolution will widen the income gap between countries, and hence create new tensions. Our world risks being sharply divided between countries which are able to

take advantage of globalisation and others which cannot; between countries with high education levels and those which have low literacy rates; and between those which are Intemet-savvy and those which do

not have access to even the basic computer.

8 What can the United Nations do to help minimise these new inequalities?

9 I offer one simple idea for a start. The United Nations should provide the leadership within the community of multilateral organisations to help the poorer nations develop the capacity to profit from globalisation and the knowledge revolution. The United Nations, IMF, World Bank and

several other international organisations were created in a different era to deal with different challenges. They need to be updated. Furthermore, these institutions work separately, and not as a team. Today, however,

there is an imperative for them to coordinate their efforts. They need to get together to assess what competencies the poorer nations need to develop in this new era. They should then put in place coordinated programmes to build capacity for globalisation and the knowledge revolution. I call upon the Secretary General to institute regular dialogues among the multilateral organisations to bring about such coordination.

10 That said, however effective we make the United Nations, it cannot by itself solve the problems of the world

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...
More>>



Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Kazakhstan: Bachelet Urges Peaceful Resolution Of Grievances
Amid alarming reports of deadly violence in Kazakhstan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances... More>>


Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>


UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>


Afghanistan: Economy In ‘Freefall’, Threatening To Take Entire Population With It

Afghanistan’s economy is in “free fall”, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told a special meeting on Sunday, warning that if decisive and compassionate action is not taken immediately, it may “pull the entire population with it”... More>>