Maintaining an inclusive, rules-based multilateral system is ‘the only way forward’, says Vivian Balakrishnan

“A new world order is being born and… the moment of deliverance is actually the most dangerous. So, will we have a more divided, less prosperous and less peaceful world?

“Or on the contrary, can we strengthen multilateralism and the United Nations to meet the challenges of the future, to maintain and strengthen the rules-based international system, and to jointly exploit the opportunities offered by new technologies – including including digital technology, synthetic biology and personalized healthcare, and of course renewable energy?

“If we achieve this, then we can create a new era of peace and prosperity for all.”

He highlighted three areas where there is an urgent need to build resilience.


One is climate change, which remains “the most pressing challenge facing humanity today”, Dr Balakrishnan said.

“We need a sustained and ambitious global response. The continued commitment of all countries to the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact – this is absolutely essential. We also need to step up cooperation in the transition to net zero.”

This will require considerable economic restructuring, technological breakthroughs, investments and behavioral changes, with the UN-led multilateral system essential to bring everyone together to move in the same direction without leaving anyone behind, he said. he declares.

He highlighted Singapore’s steps to raise climate ambition to achieve net-zero emissions “by or around mid-century” and to gradually increase carbon taxes, which were announced at the budget 2022.

A related issue is food security, the threat of which has been exacerbated by climate change, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, he said. The minister cited a UN report indicating that 828 million people were affected by hunger last year, 46 million more than in 2020 and 150 million more than in 2019.

“We need to reverse this negative trend. First, we need to ensure that food supply chains remain open and running smoothly.

“Second, we must pursue innovation and leverage technology to adapt to new challenges. For example, working together to develop climate-resilient food systems, while developing the necessary precautions for food safety.”

About Shirley L. Kreger

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