Statement by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong SC, at the ASEAN-G7 Justice Ministers Interface Plenary Session
7 Jul 2023 Posted in [Speeches]
Your Excellency Mr Saito Ken, Minister of Justice of Japan, and Co-Chair of the ASEAN-G7Justice Ministers’ Interface
Your Excellency Dato Sri Azalina Othman Said, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) of Malaysia, and Co-Chair of the Interface
Excellencies, Heads of Delegation
- Good morning. Thank you very much for giving me the floor.
- I would like to begin by expressing once again my warmest thanks and gratitude to Japan for its excellent hospitality, and for its outstanding efforts in organising this Interface, which is the first such meeting between the Justice Ministers of ASEAN and the G7.
- Singapore is fully appreciative and supportive of the G7’s engagement with ASEAN. We look forward to this inaugural meeting, and for us to continue, even after this meeting, to engaging in collaborative and constructive dialogue as His Excellency, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has articulated in his speech earlier.
Rule of Law
- The Interface, with its focus on promoting legal cooperation between ASEAN and G7 countries demonstrates the continued importance of the international rule of law.
- A rules-based international order is crucial for global peace and security.
- It is in the interest of all States, regardless of its size, to conduct themselves within the rules-based multilateral system, in order to ensure global stability and peaceful co-existence with each other.
- The rule of law at the international level is particularly critical, with the rising geopolitical tensions around the world.
- Singapore has always adopted a principled approach, and we strongly support a rules-based international order.
- We encourage efforts by countries to better understand each other’s legal traditions and systems, and to enhance legal cooperation.
- This itself strengthens the rule of law, which provides a solid foundation for a more prosperous and stable international community.
- This stability, which is underpinned by the rule of law, provides our people and our businesses with an environment in which they can succeed and thrive.
- In this regard, legal convergence is key to facilitating international trade, by allowing businesses to navigate the legal systems in both G7 as well as ASEAN countries.
- It can help to reduce legal barriers to trade and improve market access, especially for businesses in G7 countries to tap onto the growing Asian and ASEAN market.
- Singapore has always supported legal convergence, including by developing progressive trade laws. We ensure our domestic legal framework is updated, by studying and adopting international legal harmonisation instruments such as those under UNCITRAL, in particular, the Singapore Convention on Mediation, which provides for a harmonised uniform framework for the enforcement of international commercial mediated settlement agreements.
- We work with other countries to develop legal harmonisation instruments, and ensure that they are progressive and inclusive, and that they also meet market needs.
(1)We have increased our participation in multilateral institutions dedicated to the work of modernising and harmonising trade laws, such as UNCITRAL, and the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
(2)Most recently, in March this year, we became a member of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (“UNIDROIT”).
(3)These institutions bring together countries with diverse legal traditions and systems, to formulate common standards and rules.
- Singapore is also doing our part to promote and foster legal convergence in and within Asia.
(1)We do this by raising awareness of international harmonisation instruments, and by sharing our experiences and best practices.
(2)We certainly look forward to more opportunities to do so, including at future engagements between ASEAN and the G7.
- As I conclude, let me reaffirm that Singapore is committed to the inclusive development and convergence of laws in Asia and beyond.
- This Interface is a very useful platform for ASEAN and the G7 to engage each other, and to encourage greater legal cooperation between our countries.
- Thank you, Excellencies.
Last updated on 10 July 2023