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Ukraine peace summit: Singapore calls on Russia to cease hostilities

Ukraine peace summit: Singapore calls on Russia to cease hostilities
(From left) Swiss President Viola Amherd, Senior Minister of State Sim Ann and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland on June 15.
PHOTO: Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland

SINGAPORE - Singapore has called on Russia to cease hostilities and negotiate with Ukraine in good faith based on international law and the United Nations Charter.

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development Sim Ann, who represented Singapore at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine in Switzerland from June 15 to 16, reaffirmed the Republic's position on the ongoing conflict.

Prime Minister Lawrence Wong had appointed her as special envoy for the summit.

The summit, which focused on nuclear safety, food security, and the return of prisoners of war and children moved across borders without parental consent, saw participants united in seeking a peaceful and lasting solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Speaking at a breakout session, Ms Sim emphasised the importance of territorial integrity, political independence and sovereignty of all countries.

Singapore, as a member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a member of the IAEA board of governors, remains concerned about the potential risks to nuclear safety and security, particularly in relation to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, she said.

Ms Sim reaffirmed Singapore's support for the IAEA director-general's five basic principles for protecting the power plant and the IAEA's seven indispensable pillars for ensuring nuclear safety and security in an armed conflict. She stressed that these must be upheld to avoid the possibility of nuclear accidents that could harm both people and the environment, in Ukraine and beyond.

"The principles of political independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty are of utmost importance to us. Violations of these principles pose an existential threat for us," Ms Sim said.

[embed]https://www.facebook.com/SimAnn.SG/posts/875375581297689?ref=embed_post[/embed]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on June 16 said Ms Sim's participation in the summit underscores Singapore's unwavering commitment to upholding international law and the UN Charter.

The Summit on Peace in Ukraine paves the way for potential peace talks to end the ongoing war, which has entered its third year. The international community continues to call for a resolution that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The summit concluded with a unified stance among participants to pursue a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict, consistent with the principles of the UN Charter and international law.

In a Facebook post on June 16, Ms Sim wrote: "To us in Singapore, the conflict may be far away. But as a country, we remain deeply concerned. As a small state with only a short history of independence, we must staunchly support international law and uphold the UN Charter."

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Highlighting the tragic toll on human life, displacement of millions of refugees and massive destruction of infrastructure in Ukraine, she added: "This is why we have unequivocally condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This is not about taking sides; it is about upholding fundamental principles."

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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