Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024
Joint Statement from the 6th U.S.-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue

The following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and Singapore on the occasion of the 6th United States-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue.

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Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Albert Chua and United States Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink met in Singapore on 27 February 2024, to co-chair the 6th United States-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue.  Building on the enduring strength of the bilateral strategic partnership, the Dialogue reviewed ongoing areas of cooperation and discussed ways to further advance robust approaches to emerging challenges and mutually beneficial areas, such as in critical and emerging technologies (CET), energy, climate change, and regional capacity building.

The co-chairs reaffirmed the strong defense and security partnership underpinned by the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding United States Use of Facilities in Singapore, the 2005 Strategic Framework Agreement for a Closer Cooperation Partnership in Defense and Security and accompanying 2005 Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA), and the 2015 Enhanced DCA. Both sides benefit from U.S. forces’ access to military facilities in Singapore, which supports the United States’ presence in and engagement of the region, as well as from the United States’ provision of overseas training and technology access to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Our two militaries also participate in overseas operations together, including during the SAF’s ongoing deployment for Operation Prosperity Guardian under Combined Task Force 153: Red Sea Maritime Security.  The co-chairs reiterated the governments’ December 19 joint statement along with over 40 other partners condemning Houthi interference with navigational rights and freedoms in the waters around the Arabian Peninsula, particularly the Red Sea. The co-chairs welcomed the recent signing of the Security of Supply Arrangement (SOSA) between the U.S. Department of Defense and Singapore Ministry of Defense in December 2023 that would enable both sides to better address unanticipated supply chain disruptions that could affect defense needs. They also lauded the recently held 7th Law Enforcement and Homeland Security and Safety Cooperation Dialogue, which focused on the growing threat of cybercrime and online scams as well as a wide range of law enforcement and homeland security issues. They noted the continued progress of the bilateral Cyber Dialogue, which was now in its third year.

The co-chairs welcomed the 20th Anniversary of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) this year. The USSFTA, which has been in force since 2004, is a linchpin in the bilateral economic relationship and testament to the strong economic and business ties between the two countries. The co-chairs also took stock of progress under the U.S.-Singapore Partnership for Growth and Innovation (PGI), launched by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong in October 2021, and looked forward to further cooperation under this initiative. The PGI aims to strengthen trade and investment collaboration between the two economies in new and forward-looking areas, as reflected in joint statements released following the PGI annual dialogues in October 2022 and June 2023. In addition, the co-chairs noted the close cooperation between Singapore and the United States on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). Both sides welcomed the significant outcomes announced to date, which will support the continued and constructive economic engagement among the United States, Singapore, and other IPEF partners in the region and provide a firm foundation to further deepen regional cooperation. They include the entry –into force of the Supply Chain Agreement on 24 February 2024, and the substantial conclusion of negotiations on the Clean Economy and Fair Economy Agreements, as well as the Agreement on IPEF. Both sides looked forward to continuing to work closely together to implement these Agreements to deliver concrete benefits to all the IPEF partners.

The co-chairs discussed emerging areas of cooperation in areas such as CET, climate change, and energy. Both sides welcomed the launch of the inaugural U.S.-Singapore CET Dialogue in October 2023 and looked forward to greater collaboration in artificial intelligence (AI), digital economy and data governance, biotechnology, critical infrastructure and technology supply chains, defense innovation, as well as quantum information science and technology. Both sides also discussed progress on the U.S.-Singapore Climate Partnership (USCP) which was launched in August 2021 and updated in June 2023. Notable progress has been made on regional energy transition, low- and zero-emission technologies and solutions, nature-based solutions and carbon markets workstreams and capacity building. On energy, the co-chairs underscored their support for ASEAN’s clean energy transition and the realization of the ASEAN Power Grid. The co-chairs also discussed partnership on civil nuclear energy cooperation to support Singapore’s capability building in nuclear safety, security, nonproliferation, and understanding of advanced civil nuclear energy technologies, as part of Singapore’s efforts to study all potential pathways for decarbonization.

The co-chairs re-affirmed the close collaboration between Singapore and the United States in supporting capacity-building in Southeast Asia under the Singapore-U.S. Third Country Training Program (TCTP). Singapore and the United States have jointly organized 76 capacity building programs for more than 2,000 officials from ASEAN Member States (AMS), Timor-Leste and the ASEAN Secretariat since the TCTP was established in February 2012. The co-chairs also welcomed the planned expansion of the scope of the TCTP to include the Pacific Islands region and looked forward to the pilot course in March 2024, which would include AMS, Timor-Leste, and members of the Pacific Islands Forum. Both sides expressed continued commitment to the TCTP and collaboration in new areas such as the Smart Cities Program on AI to deepen knowledge sharing in emerging areas.

The co-chairs exchanged views on regional and global developments and reiterated the commitment by the United States and Singapore to uphold the rules-based international order. Both sides reaffirmed the position that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and attempts to annex Ukrainian territory are violations of international law and the principles of the UN Charter. The co-chairs condemned the acts of violence and terrorism by Hamas on 7 October 2023 in Israel and reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense in a manner that complied with international law, including international humanitarian law. Israel should do its utmost to ensure the safety and security of civilians, while Hamas must safely and immediately release all civilian hostages. The co-chairs expressed serious concern about the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza and urged all parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian supplies in a timely and sustainable manner. Both sides affirmed their shared view that the only viable path to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through a negotiated two-state solution, consistent with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The co-chairs emphasized the importance of reinforcing an open, transparent, inclusive, and ASEAN-centric regional architecture. To this end, Singapore welcomed the commitment to ASEAN Centrality by the United States as seen from the upgrade of ASEAN-U.S. Relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in 2022 and the adoption of the ASEAN-U.S. Summit Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) in September 2023 at the 11th ASEAN-U.S. Summit. The Statement reaffirms shared principles between the AOIP and the United States’ Indo-Pacific Strategy, as well as ASEAN and the United States’ commitment to tangibly support implementation of the four priority areas of the AOIP. Both sides also welcomed the Quad’s support for ASEAN Centrality, including the Quad’s agenda to support Indo-Pacific countries’ priorities and needs, and explored synergies for mutually beneficial cooperation.

On Myanmar, the co-chairs reaffirmed ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus and reiterated their calls for the de-escalation of the situation, cessation of violence, and commencement of constructive dialogue among key stakeholders, as well as the need for access to humanitarian assistance. Both sides underscored the role of the United States and ASEAN’s other external partners in working with ASEAN to address the crisis and facilitate national reconciliation in Myanmar. On the South China Sea (SCS), the co-chairs underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability, as well as the need to uphold freedom of navigation and overflight as provided under international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Both sides reaffirmed that all concerned parties must abide by the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and reiterated support for ASEAN-led efforts to develop an effective and substantive Code of Conduct for the South China Sea that upholds the legitimate rights and interests of all parties and is consistent with UNCLOS.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS