Table of Contents
Security and External Relations
SECURITY AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
MFA aims to achieve the following outcomes with an allocated budget of $403.0 million:
- Advancement of Singapore’s national interests through the conduct of our foreign relations and working through regional and international organisations
- Reinforcing international recognition of Singapore as an effective, constructive and principled partner
- Prompt and effective consular services for Singaporeans
Advancement of Singapore’s national interests through the conduct of our foreign relations and working through regional and international organisations
MFA aims to strengthen relations with our neighbours, ASEAN partners and key countries such as the US, China, India, Japan, the EU / Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. We will enhance our engagement with emerging markets, including the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Latin America and Africa. We will also enhance relations with all our friends and partners. On the multilateral front, we will contribute to strengthening international and regional mechanisms such as ASEAN, ARF, APEC, EAS and ASEM. We will play an active role in international organisations and in shaping the regional architecture to enhance peace and stability, advance Singapore's interests, and continue to build an international constituency of support for Singapore.
To achieve this outcome, we will:
- Maintain a steady level of visits and exchanges;
- Focus on accelerating and deepening ASEAN integration through the implementation of the ASEAN Charter so that ASEAN remains relevant and central in the regional architecture;
- Work with our partners to strengthen APEC’s role and its focus on regional economic cooperation and integration;
- Build up our knowledge and expertise on emerging markets by expanding links and enhancing our diplomatic presence in key regions. For instance, we will open embassies in Brazil and Turkey this year to increase our presence in Latin America and the Middle East and help our economic agencies;
- Support the efforts of our economic agencies in expanding our web of Free Trade Agreements; promoting our business and commercial interests and activities overseas; and
- Support the work of think tanks, such as the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), and Middle East Institute (MEI).
$208.5 million will be allocated to the above efforts. This constitutes 51.7% of MFA’s total budget.
Reinforcing international recognition of Singapore as an effective, constructive and principled partner
MFA aims to enhance Singapore’s relevance and standing in international organisations in collaboration with other Singapore agencies, through constructive participation and by taking principled positions at the UN and key international forums. MFA will continue to build goodwill for Singapore and profile the Singapore brand name through technical assistance, outreach activities and cultivation efforts.
To achieve this outcome, we will:
- Play an active role in international organisations and forums such as the UN, WTO, IMO, ICAO, IAEA, WIPO, WHO, ILO, UNESCO, the G20 and 3G, Commonwealth, and the Proliferation Security Initiative, and participate in efforts to enhance their roles and effectiveness;
- Play a constructive role during Singapore’s tenure on the IAEA Board of Governors from September 2010 to September 2012;
- Participate actively and constructively in, and lead the inter-agency effort to safeguard Singapore's interests at, the climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
- Serve as the Secretariat for the Inter-Ministry Committee on Export Controls, Inter-Ministry Committee on Legal Issues relating to Terrorism, and Inter-Ministry Committee on Human Rights;
- Work with other ministries to support Singapore’s candidatures for key international organisations. In FY 2012, Singapore is seeking re-election to the Postal Operations Council of the Universal Postal Union;
- Support the efforts of Singapore agencies to participate more effectively in international fora by providing training and foreign policy inputs;
- Continue to work with EDB and other agencies to profile Singapore internationally and attract blue-chip inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations to establish a presence in Singapore; and
- Within our means, provide technical assistance as a responsible global citizen to help developing countries attain their development goals through the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP).
$120.1 million will be allocated to our participation in and contributions to regional and international organisations, the Singapore Cooperation Programme and outreach activities.
Prompt and effective consular services for Singaporeans
MFA aims to improve the timeliness and quality of consular services through Singapore’s overseas missions, the network of Honorary Consuls General (HCGs) and Consuls, as well as friends of Singapore. This would include:
- Working with other agencies to strengthen our crisis management coordination and capacity;
- Monitoring and responding to crises and disasters, and providing expeditious assistance to Singaporeans in distress overseas;
- Harnessing technology to provide timely information on consular matters to Singaporeans; and
- Working closely with the Overseas Singaporean Unit (OSU) in their efforts to engage Singaporeans living overseas.
$74.4m will be allocated to providing consular services.
To find out more about MFA and our initiatives, please visit our website.