Singapore: The nation offers to help other countries go green with new related training courses

Officials in developing countries will be able to tap Singapore’s experience in areas such as water resources management and food security through a series of courses the Republic is introducing to address sustainability and climate change issues.

The courses in the Sustainability Action Package will come under the broader Singapore Cooperation Programme.

“The package aims to help countries decarbonize and will include key areas of sustainability, including strategies to build resilience for water resources and food security; managing and financing green projects; developing sustainable infrastructure; and managing carbon markets,” said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Oct. 20.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the courses, which will run for three years, will bring together partners from the public and private sectors, as well as non-profit and international organisations, to share best practices on tackling sustainability and climate issues.

Speaking at an MFA event to commemorate the Singapore Cooperation Programme, Dr. Balakrishnan said Singapore will also sponsor longer-term advisory projects in South-east Asia, to deepen capabilities on sustainability in the region.

Globally, more than 150,000 government officials from 180 countries have attended workshops or courses under the program, which was set up in 1992 to bring together Singapore’s technical assistance efforts. About 88,000 are from ASEAN member states.

Dr. Balakrishnan said the program underscores Singapore’s belief that international cooperation is not zero-sum but is instead mutually beneficial. When the region is peaceful, prosperous and committed to a sustainable future, social and economic opportunities are created, he added.

“By working collectively, we strengthen our ability to deal with the immense shared challenges of the future. And none of us can address these successfully alone,” he said.

In a recorded message played at the event, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi lauded the Singapore Cooperation Programme and the milestone reached, adding that it underlines Singapore’s unwavering commitment to give back to the international community.

He shared that the ASEAN secretariat has been one of its beneficiaries.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed congratulated Singapore in a separate recorded message, where she underscored the importance of international cooperation in global development, especially in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cooperation is critical to support countries as they recover from the current crisis, and to do so in a way that reduces inequalities, strengthens health systems, intensifies climate action and increases food security,” she said.

“The Singapore Cooperation Programme is a sterling example of collaboration in action.”