His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong
LEE HSIEN LOONG, Prime Minister of Singapore, said the COVID‑19 crisis has sharpened the geopolitical trends of isolationism, protectionism and unilateralism, while underscoring the interconnection and interdependence of countries. Despite the limitations of a rules‑based multilateral system with the United Nations at its core, it has given small States like Singapore a voice and stake in the global commons, with the major powers also benefitting from a more peaceful and stable environment. However, he noted that recent trends have exposed shortcomings including inability to achieve consensus on major issues, ongoing conflicts, and the millions of people lacking access to food, health care and education. Member States must work together to reform multilateral institutions, keeping them open, inclusive and fit for purpose to respond effectively to shared challenges including pandemics, climate change and extremism.