Singapore and the United Nations

Republic of Singapore
United Nations membership
Membership Full member
Since September 21, 1965 (1965-09-21)
UNSC seat Non-permanent
Permanent Representative Burhanudeen Gafoor[1]

The Republic of Singapore officially became the 117th member of the United Nations (UN) after its independence on September 21, 1965.[2] From 2001 to 2002, Singapore held a rotational seat on the United Nations Security Council and has participated in UN peacekeeping/observer missions in Kuwait, Angola, Kenya, Cambodia and Timor Leste.[3]


Before independence, Singapore had merged with the Federation of Malaya with North Borneo and Sarawak to form Malaysia. At that time, the Federation of Malaysia was already a member of the UN and after Singapore's independence due to distrust and ideological differences between leaders of the State of Singapore and the federal government of Malaysia, Singapore was officially registered as a member of the UN on September 21, 1965, with Abu Bakar bin Pawanchee serving as the first permanent representative to the UN.[4][2]

Since then, Singapore has been actively participating in UN peacekeeping operations. In 1997, the country became only the seventh country to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on UN Standby Arrangements.[5]


Security Council

During the 2000 United Nations Security Council election, Singapore was elected as one of the five non-permanent members of the UN Security Council serving for two-year terms from 2001 to 2002. In January 2001 and May 2002, Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani, the permanent representative of Singapore then, served as the President of the United Nations Security Council together with Ambassador S. Jayakumar.

Peacekeeping and observer missions

Singapore's first peacekeeping mission was to oversee Namibia’s transition to independence, was in response to an urgent call for help from then UN General-Secretary Javier Perez de Cuellar on 29 March 1989.[6] Since 1989, Singapore has taken part in 16 peacekeeping and observer missions with personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).


New York and Geneva

Singapore maintains two permanent missions to the UN. With one in New York, which is headed by Ambassador Karen Tan and one in Geneva, which is headed by Ambassador Foo Kok Jwee.

See also


  2. 1 2 The Straits Times (September 23, 1965). "Singapore becomes member of the UN". NewspaperSG. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  3. "Singapore (05/09)". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  4. Lim Siew Yea. "Communalism and Communism at Singaporean Independence". Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  5. "International Peace Keeping Efforts". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  6. "21 man police team to join Namibia peace force". The Straits Times. NewspaperSG. April 7, 1989. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
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