MP Leon Perera

Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) what is Singapore’s position on Papua New Guinea’s possible accession to ASEAN; and (b) what are Singapore’s bilateral activities with Papua New Guinea.

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan: Papua New Guinea was accorded the status of Special Observer in ASEAN in 1976 and has participated in ASEAN meetings in this capacity. ASEAN is presently not considering any new membership applications.

 Singapore and Papua New Guinea enjoy warm relations and close cooperation. As fellow Small Island Developing States, we share similar views on issues like climate change. Both countries recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding on carbon credit collaboration in November 2022 on the sidelines of the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Egypt. Singapore remains committed to supporting Papua New Guinea’s development journey, including by sharing our experiences through the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP). Papua New Guinea sends the second largest number of participants to our SCP courses amongst the Pacific Island States, with close to 800 officials having participated to date.

Singapore also engages Papua New Guinea in multilateral forums, such as the UN, APEC and the Pacific Islands Forum, which Singapore has recently been admitted as a Dialogue Partner.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
24 February 2023

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