Health for Peace, Peace for Health
1 Health for peace, peace for health is a very poignant topic for our discussion today.
2 When we think of breakthroughs by humankind, many inventions come to mind. The wheel, the steam engine, gunpowder, printing press, penicillin, computer chip, the Internet, AI.
3 But one of the greatest innovation and invention by humankind is our ability to organise society, organise governance. Such that in the modern society, we can have different people, of different backgrounds, speaking different tongues, with different religions, living side by side, peacefully, together. And in multilateral platforms such as this, we can have different societies, different countries, different regions coming together, in the conference rooms and corridors of UN agencies in Geneva or New York City, we can discuss, deliberate and debate global issues that transcend national boundaries and national interests.
4 In other words, we have a system to uphold global commons, and our common good. And all of us have a duty to uphold our common good, because if we free ride on the efforts of others, the common good collapses.
5 But issues and processes are complex, organisations sometimes are frustrated, and we continue to face obstacles and challenges. When we face setbacks, there will be times when we doubt if the entire process and organisation work at all.
6 So I say, where we can make things succeed, let us give it our best shot to demonstrate that the multilateral process works.
7 And the WHO, in this global pandemic, we can demonstrate that it works. The global pandemic gives us that opportunity. So let us muster all our political will and determination, to ensure that good vaccine coverage can happen in all parts of the world, especially going out to the vulnerable, the sick and the old. Let us review the improve the WHO, to accord it the resources it needs to prevent and to manage the next pandemic. Let us work together for an effective global surveillance system for new pathogens and new viruses.
8 For if this multilateral process before us can enhance the health of the world, it can also promise to bring peace.
9 Singapore wants to contribute to this process in a modest way. We have worked with the WHO on pandemic preparedness in cities and urban areas, and we have proposed a resolution on this. If we are able to table this in the agenda in the coming days, we hope members will give us your fullest support.