Chairman, excellencies, and colleagues.
1. Thank you for the rich discussions and insights so far. I’d like to make two points.
2. First, globalisation is not just a buzz word, but it describes the reality where the lives and the fates of our countries and peoples are deeply intertwined.
a. And because of that we find ourselves stakeholders of global commons that we must collectively protect and preserve.
b. They include freedom of navigation across the high seas and open skies, the global network of information highways, the health of our precious mother Earth, a global system of governance etc.
c. COVID-19 has highlighted another important global commons – which is humankind’s resilience against pandemics.
d. There will be future pandemics after COVID-19, which will require a strong global response, with an adequately resourced and independent WHO at the centre of the effort.
3. This brings me to my second point. We must recognise the importance of pandemic response. We need to do something about it, for the sake of better protecting humankind, and for our future generations.
a. We need to address the significant financing gaps to make a global response effective, and even possible.
b. We also need to address the gaps in capability and non-financial resources.
c. For example, COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (VTDs) are essential to secure public health, save lives, and safeguard livelihoods by preventing infections and severe disease.
d. We need to be able to develop and distribute VTDs safely and reliably across the world.
e. We need to establish a robust global network of regional vaccine manufacturing hubs.
f. We need to channel resources to those who are most in need of help.
g. We need health and finance ministers to work closely together, and in Singapore, the Health and Finance Ministers chair the Multi-Ministry Taskforce in combating COVID-19.
h. And we need to continue our progress to develop the global pandemic response system.
4. Singapore looks forward to furthering discussions on bolstering multilateralism and bilateral initiatives.
5. Let me now hand the floor to the Singapore Minister for Finance.