Event: Pearl-MUN 2004
Students: Yvette Ohanion
Links to other sites on the Web: Back to the 2003-2004 Team page
Singapore is a parliamentary republic; its official name is the Republic of Singapore. Singapore's constitution was ratified on June 3, 1956 but was amended in 1965. The country's capital is the city of Singapore. Its government is made up of three branches, the Executive branch, the Legislative branch and the Judicial branch. In the Executive branch the President, Sellapan Rama Nathan (since 1 September 1999) is the Chief of State and Cabinet. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister, GOH Chok Tong (since 28 November 1990) and the Deputy Prime Ministers, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) LEE Hsien Loong (since 28 November 1990) and TAN Keng Yam Tony (since 1 August 1995). In the Legislative branch the parliament is unicameral; the members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. Finally, the Judical Branch is the country's Supreme Court. The judges are appointed by the president with the advice of the prime minister and the chief of justice. The Legal system is based on English Common Law and has not accepted Compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Singapore is an island located in the Strait of Malacca in Southeastern Asia, between Malaysia and Indonesia. Its' coastal borders are the Main Strait, the Singapore Strait and the Johore Strait. It has one river called the Singapore River, and numerous short streams. Singapore has an area of about 692.7 sq km, including land and water. Singapore has a tropical, hot, humid, rainy climate with occasional thunderstorms. The topography of Singapore is made up of low lands. More than 85 percent of Singapore Island is built up for residential, commercial, and industrial use. Jungles and swamps once covered the island, but today only a small area of the central hills retains its natural jungle cover. The country's elevation extremes are Singapore Strait 0 m, for the lowest point and Bukit Timah 166 m, for the highest point.
The main natural resource in Singapore is fish which are found commonly in deepwater ports. Numerous short streams drain the island. Soils are relatively infertile, and clays and sand are the only mineral resources. There are no natural resources that are exported to other countries. Singapore imports fish and fresh water from Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Singapore has a population of 4,608, 595. The main languages spoken are Chinese, Malay, Tamil, and English.
The diversity of religions existed in Singapore, is an outcome of various nationalities residing there. More than half of Singapore's population, are the followers of Buddhism and Taoism. The Chinese people are the largest ethnic group in Singapore, so there leaves no doubt that is why they are Buddhists or Taoists as these two religions were originally brought with them from China. But later some of them proselytized to Christianity influenced by the arrival of the Raffles. While most of Singapore's Indians are Hindus, though some of them are Muslims or Sikhs. The average life expectancy in Singapore is 84 years for men and 78 years for women. Infant mortality is low. Religious differences can bear both positive and negative consequences, and the government perceives them well. The campaign to harmonize different ethnic groups to one nation is extremely hard, but so far there's no religious conflict that burst out. This can be totally considered as a successful work of the Singapore's government.
The global economic crisis in 1997 has troubled every country in Asia, yet Singapore's economy recovered quite strongly by 9% in 1999, so it could be said that Singapore was the strongest Asian nation which got the less effect from this unavoidable economic storm. Singapore, a center of the shipping business port, which includes: entrepôt trade, shipping, and financial and business services. They are ready to trade with any state for mutual benefit and strive to maintain an open market economy.
In the early 1970s the United States and Japan had become Singapore's two leading sources of industrial products. Malaysia and Indonesia remained the principal sources of such primary imports as crude rubber, vegetable oils, and spices and an important destination for manufactured exports, including both the products of Singapore and of the entrepôt trade. Singapore's units of currency used today are divided into 1c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, and S$1 coins, while notes come in denominations of S$2, S$5, S$10, S$50, S$100, S$500 and S$1000; Singapore also has S$10,000 note, but is hardly seen.
The security forces have several branches, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Police Force. Males that can participate in the military are ages between 15-49. The money spent for the defense forces is about $4.47 billion.
Views on World Problems:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts and manages Singapore’s relations with other countries. It promotes and protects Singapore’s national interests by working towards the enhancement of regional peace, stability and cooperation, the maintenance of economic progress and prosperity, and the consolidation and improvement of friendly relations with all countries. As a small state, Singapore has no illusions about its influence on world problems and events. They wish to maintain a effective and deterrent military defense to support their foreign policy. They promote and work for good relations with their neighbors in all areas. They are friends with all those who wish to be friends with them. They stand by allies, who have stood by them in times of need.
They fully support and are committed to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), working to maintain a secure and peaceful environment in and around Southeast Asia and in the Asia Pacific region.
Singapore supports, and is active in international organizations such as the UN. Singapore believes that the UN peacekeeping operations have made a significant contribution to international peace and security. But as a small country with limited manpower resources, Singapore is unable to participate in every UN peacekeeping mission. Since 1991, Singapore has taken part in 11 peacekeeping missions. Singapore military and police personnel are currently serving in UN peacekeeping missions in Iraq/Kuwait (UNIKOM), Eritrea/Ethiopia (UN Mission in Eritrea/Ethiopia or UNMEE) and East Timor (UN Mission of Support in East Timor or UNMISET), and also at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York. Singapore strongly condemns all acts of terrorism and is committed to the fight against terrorism. Singapore is also a member of many health and trade organizations.
In the May 1959 election, the PAP swept the polls, and Lee became prime minister. Singapore's foreign and local business communities were greatly alarmed by the turn of events, fearing that the communist wing of the PAP would soon seize control of the government. The PAP moderates under Lee, however, favored independence through merger with Malaya. Singaporean voters approved the PAP merger plan in September 1962, and on September 16, 1963, Singapore joined Malaya and the former British Borneo territories of Sabah and Sarawak to form an independent Malaysia. After two years of communal strife, pressure from neighboring Indonesia, and political wrangling between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, however, Singapore was forced to separate from Malaysia and became an independent nation on August 9, 1965. Immediately the leaders sought to establish a unique "Singaporean identity" and to strengthen economic and political ties with Malaysia, Indonesia, and the other countries of the region. By the 1970s, Singapore was among the world leaders in shipping, air transport, and oil refining. By the mid 1980s , the first generation of leaders under Lee Kuan Yew had successfully guided the nation for more than two decades, and a new generation was beginning to take charge.
1. the issue of the rights and availability of generic drugs:
A generic drug is a which is identical or equivalent to a name drug in dosage, safety, strength, administration, quality, performance, and intended use, but is usually much cheaper than the branded version.
Generic drugs can be legally produced for drugs where the patent (a set of exclusive rights granted by a government to an applicant for a limited amount of time) has expired; or for drugs which have never held patents. The expiration of a patent removes the domination of the patent holder on drug sales licensing. Some countries are considering amending legislation to allow the manufacture of generic versions of drugs, only for export to developing countries. This compromise protects the rights of patent holders in the home country, while meeting the needs of developing countries for inexpensive medications.
The first HIV infection was diagnosed in 1985, and the first case of AIDS diagnosed in Singapore, was in 1986. Up till the end of 2001 there were 1599 infected Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, 1398 males and 201 females. Combination therapy (a mixture of drugs) ranges from about $500 – 600 per month for 2 medications to $1200 – 1300 per month for three medications. These do not include laboratory fees for monitoring treatment and detecting side effects, nor for the consultation fees. These additional fees can add up to several hundred dollars on each visit. These medical costs make HIV/AIDS one of, if not, the most expensive illness to manage in Singapore. Unfortunately anti-HIV medications are not on the standard drug list in Singapore. They are considered as non-standard drugs, and patients have to pay the full cost of the medications, without any official assistance from the government. ARV (AIDS Related Virus) medications are also not provided to pregnant mothers to prevent mother-to-child transmission, nor are they provided to infants or children suffering from AIDS. As a result most patients cannot afford to purchase these medications and eventually surrender to HIV infection. It is clear that Singapore urgently needs a long-term solution to the challenge of making ARV medications affordable for Singaporean patients. However, the Free Trade Agreement between the US and Singapore, protects the rights of the multinational drug companies that have patented their products. This does not help Singapore's desire to have generic drugs marketed for the benefit of their citizens. In principle, Singapore is in favor of the availability of genetic drugs.
2. The issue of the rights of displaced people:
Families and groups that are forced to leave their homes are called Displaced People. There are two types of Displacement, Internally Displaced People (IDP) and Externally Displaced People (EDP). Internal displacement is the forced relocation of people within the boundaries of their country as a result of political, ethnic conflicts or economic, developmental, and environmental reasons. Externally displaced people have fled their country due to fear for their lives, safety, or freedom and live in refugee-like circumstances but may not fit the International Refugee definition. The UN Secretary General's Special Representative for internally displaced people, in his report, mentioned that internal displacement is one of the most tragic phenomena of the contemporary world, affecting some 25 million people worldwide. Today, after further tragic events in different countries, the number has reached at least 30 million.
The number of internally displaced people in Asia is increasing on a large scale. Mounting numbers of ethnic and religious conflicts, and political tensions, are the reasons for these internal displacements. Ethnic conflicts in different Asian countries -- Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Indonesia and East Timor -- have uprooted hundreds of thousands of people.
Singapore believes that there should be an organization created to supervise people who are on the move, including refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP). They support the establishment of a transition fund to take care of people, before state or international agencies are able to step in and take action in situations immediately after conflicts and wars, such as Aceh and East Timor. Over the past several decades, Singapore has witnessed numerous flows of displaced people across political borders in Asia, fleeing from conflict that has occurred within the region. Often, these forced migrations result in the movement of people across the political borders of one ASEAN nation-state into that of another. These are regional issues that cannot be confined to being the ‘internal affairs’ of ASEAN members. Therefore, Singapore supports ASEAN’s desire to protect regional peace, stability and harmony in conformity with humanitarian principles. As a united group, ASEAN has discussed ways of handling these problems, together with United Nations bodies. ASEAN has made efforts to obtain more speedy and increased departure of displaced people for permanent settlement in Third Countries, as well as to secure a wider range of countries that can offer permanent settlement, opportunities to these people
3. The issue of the trade of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction:
Weapons of mass destruction are weapons that are capable of causing destruction on a large scale and/or can be used to wipe out vast numbers of people. These weapons can be nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons. The method of transporting or propelling the weapon is regarded as a separate and detachable part of the weapon; not classified as a weapon of mass destruction.
The PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative) is an organization committed to taking real and effective measures to counter the increase of WMD, and related material. They work together, within the boundaries of national and international law, to stop the flow of such materials to restricted states, and terrorist organizations. Singapore is one of the member states, along with Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the US.
For the first time, in January of this year, Singapore's Navy took part in a US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) maritime exercise in the Arabian Sea. The exercise aimed at practicing intercepting, boarding, and searching vessels assessed to be illegally trafficking in weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related materials. Singapore supports the PSI and will participate in its activities, in line with Singapore's overall approach to countering terrorism and WMD proliferation. Singapore takes a serious view of the threat posed by WMD, with regard to its neighbor, North Korea. Singapore is also especially concerned with the dangerous possibility of WMD falling into the hands of terrorists and other undesirable elements, given that Singapore is a small, densely populated country. At the end of 2003, Singapore intercepted several shipments intended for export, linked to weapons of mass destruction. The seizures at the port included ingredients for chemical weapons and materials to build missile warheads. Several companies have been prosecuted for breaking export control laws. Singapore is clearly taking real and effective measures towards dealing with the trade of weapons of mass destruction.
Submitted by: Singapore Delegate: Yvette Ohanian Issue: The issue of the trade of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction:
Defining Weapons of mass destruction as "Weapons that are capable of causing destruction on a large scale, and/or can be used to wipe out vast numbers of people,"
Aware that WOMD are a threat to life on our planet, causing the death of all living things,
Bearing in Mind The unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, left behind a legacy of 30,000 Soviet nuclear warheads, enough highly enriched uranium and plutonium to make 60,000 more; 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons; missile-ready smallpox; and tens of thousands of scientists who knew how to make weapons anmissiles,
Deeply concerned by growing incidents of nuclear theft and smuggling through Russia, since the collapse of the former Soviet Union,
Taking into consideration the damage caused by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan) towards the end of WW2,
Taking Note that WMD and their trade, is becoming an issue of growing concern,
Welcoming the establishment of the PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative), which has been successful in countering incidents of attempted exportation of WMD raw materials,
Expressing Its Satisfaction that the PSI is committed to taking real and effective measures to counter the increase of WMD, and related material,
Viewing with appreciation the IAEA chief's view that "the current system for dealing with nuclear nonproliferation is inadequate, and that the UN Security Council must revise its role,"
Supports ASEAN’s desire to protect regional peace, stability and harmony,
Deeply disappointed that several Singaporean companies have been manufacturing and attempting to export raw materials used in the Manufacture of WMD.
Alarmed by the statement made by Mohamed ElBaradei (head of the International Atomic Energy Agency) that "North Korea is the world's number one security concern", due to the resumption of its nuclear weapons program.
Deeply Disturbed by the fact that there are currently 100 facilities in 40 countries that still use highly enriched uranium.
1, Proclaims that every nation has the right to remain free from the threat of WMD.
2. Declares that a Treaty be drawn up between the five permanent members of the Security Council and will state: A. that the five permanent members of the SC should be the only countries eligible for possession of WMD, B. any state found to be in the possession of, or trading in WMD and related materials, will be banned from the General Assembly, until the matter is resolved, and economic sanctions against those countries will be put into place, C. countries that are willing to cooperate with the demands of this treaty will be rewarded with economic, agricultural, and medical aid as is needed;
3. Confirms that all cooperating countries will undertake not to: A. develop, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or have control over nuclear weapons, B. store or transport nuclear weapons by any means. C. test or use nuclear weapons.
4. Affirms that the five permanent SC members will sign a non-aggression treaty with any country that willingly cooperates with the dismantling of its WMD program and related production sites;
5. Recommends the establishment of a sub organization (UNNOP) United Nations Non Proliferation Organization. A. This organization will be composed of 5 permanent members, B. the 5 permanent members of the SC, and 10 other chairs, C. on a 6 month rotating basis, and based in Geneva;
6. Confirms that the UNNOP will designate experts in the WMD field, who will A. assist cooperating countries in finding and destroying WMD and related materials. B. be responsible for the protection of the region from environmental pollution, and the hazards posed by radioactive wastes and other radioactive material, C. supervise the safe destruction of WMD and related materials;
7. Calls upon the greater cooperation between intelligence and military services, and law enforcement in all cooperating countries, in order to enhance the goals of UNNOP;
8. Expresses its hopes that the successful implementation of this resolution, will be the first step in the wider vision of eventually ridding the whole world, including the 5 SC member states, of WMD and related materials.
Unique is the word that best captures Singapore, a dynamic, thriving city-state where you'll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture.
Singapore was founded as a British trading post in 1819. It is now the world's busiest port, overcoming its deficiency of natural resources to become one of the most successful economies of Asia.
Singapore may be small, but it holds a vision for all Asia; one of peace. Singapore is actively working towards this goal, by being a fervent member of ASEAN.
Global destruction; this is what are world is heading towards, if the growing threat from WMD is not tackled and dealt with. Singapore has taken on this challenge by becoming an active member of the PSI. By doing so, Singapore is setting an example to other nations of Asia; to have the conviction to carry through their beliefs.