Some 50 students from 13 schools will be appointed Singapore Convention Youth Ambassadors to high-level international delegations visiting Singapore in August to witness the signing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation. This was announced today by the Singapore Ministry of Law (MinLaw) at the launch of the Singapore Convention Youth Involvement Programme. The list of 13 participating schools can be found at Annex A.
Under this programme, these 17- and 18-year old students will host guided tours to key places of interest and share with international delegates Singapore’s history, heritage and approach to nation-building. Seven agencies will come together to conduct a structured five-day training programme to prepare the students for their appointment. The agencies are MinLaw, the Singapore Bicentennial Office (SBO), Maxwell Chambers, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA), the National Heritage Board (NHB), the National Parks Board (NParks) and Gardens by the Bay.
In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation and authorised the naming of the Convention after Singapore and for the signing ceremony to be held in Singapore. The Convention will be the first international treaty under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) to be named after Singapore. This is expected to boost Singapore’s position as an international dispute resolution hub and reinforce our reputation as a trusted, neutral jurisdiction with strong rule of law.
The Singapore Convention Youth Involvement Programme is part of the Singapore Convention signing ceremony and conference co-organised by MinLaw and the United Nations Commission On International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) which will take place on 7 August 2019. The conference is expected to attract over 700 delegates from around the world, including overseas ministers, senior UN and UNCITRAL officials, Presidents of Bar Associations, Chair-persons and Board Members of dispute resolution institutions, Managing Partners of law firms and C-suites of multinational corporations. The delegates will also be invited to participate in a series of related conferences as part of the Singapore Convention Week stretching from 3 to 9 August, and to join Singaporeans in celebrating Singapore’s 54th National Day and marking our bicentennial year
As Singapore Convention Youth Ambassadors, the students will host guided tours to six places of interest in Singapore, namely The Bicentennial Experience, Maxwell Chambers, the Singapore City Gallery, Chinatown Food Street, the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Gardens by the Bay, on 8 and 9 August after the Singapore Convention Signing Convention and Ceremony on 7 August. Each student will be matched to a small group of delegates and serve as their personal guides at these locations. They will share with their foreign guests Singapore’s history and heritage and approach to nation-building, in the areas of rule of law, urban planning and greening.
Seven agencies will conduct a structured five-day training programme to prepare the students for their appointment. They will give the students a deeper appreciation of the different aspects of Singapore in their respective domain areas, to provide the foundational understanding and the larger context to the various places of interest which the international delegates will be visiting:
- SBO will cover what the bicentennial is, share the longer history of Singapore, and delve into the three DNA traits – openness, multiculturalism and self-determination – that are important for Singapore to chart our future.
- MinLaw will share Singapore’s approach to the rule of law and how this has helped the young nation achieve social order and stability and economic growth and development. Students will also learn about Singapore’s efforts to be an international dispute resolution hub and the expansion of Maxwell Chambers to serve rising demand in Asia.
- Maxwell Chambers will explain to the students how it supports this effort and train the students to conduct guided tours to introduce to international delegates Singapore’s offerings during the grand opening of its expansion, the Maxwell Chambers Suites, on 8 August.
- At URA’s Singapore City Gallery, students will discover how Singapore came to be and the robust, sustainable and integrated planning approach that took us from mudflats to metropolis. They will learn and be able to share how having the courage to find our own solutions to solve problems is key to creating a good quality and sustainable living environment for our people. For example, by finding ways to immerse the city in pervasive greenery through an expanding network of park connectors and integrating greenery with waterways and reservoirs, Singapore is rich in greenery and biodiversity despite its compact size and rapid urbanisation. The students will also learn how the success of our country ultimately rests on our people – the strong partnerships between government, businesses and communities, and a common vision to ensure that our people and future generations continue to enjoy a good living environment.
- NHB will share the history of hawker culture in Singapore and its prevalence in the everyday lives of Singaporeans. This is part of NHB’s youth engagement efforts to encourage greater appreciation for our hawker culture, and in turn, for them to promote its importance and appreciation among others.
- As the lead agency for the management of greenery, NParks will share our nation’s City in a Garden journey, the various initiatives to green up our island and restore our natural heritage, the Landscape Sector Transformation Plan and the career opportunities in the industry. The students will also learn how the Singapore Botanic Gardens, our nation’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, played a key role in our nation-building efforts to enhance the quality of our living environment and be trained to lead the international delegates on a guided walk around the Gardens to share about its rich heritage and historical landmarks.
- Through its school engagement programme “Gardens by the Bay Ambassadors”, Gardens by the Bay will share various aspects of its Gardens, including its plant collections, floral displays and sustainability efforts. This will help the students host the international delegates effectively when they visit the Flower Dome and Cloud Dome.
Other than building up knowledge in the respective domain areas, the students will also receive basic competency training in protocol. This will help them understand the need for facilitation and be able to do this more effectively, look out for body languages and acquire sensitivity to different cultures.
The Singapore Convention Youth Ambassadors will be encouraged to share with their peers through social media platforms what they have learnt about Singapore through the training programme and their personal experiences hosting international delegations. They will receive social media training in production and marketing. They will also participate in a Social Media Competition where they will produce short-form videos of their experiences and the top three videos with the most “likes” will win.
Mr Han Kok Juan, Chairman of the Singapore Convention Signing Ceremony and Conference Organising Committee and Deputy Secretary, MinLaw said, “The students will be part of an important milestone in our history. The programme will give them the opportunity for high-profile international exposure as well as close interactions with leaders from around the world. They will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of Singapore’s approach to nation-building, across different domain areas, and gain confidence to think and operate globally.”
Mr Adrian Tay, Deputy Principal, Eunoia Junior College said, “Eunoia Junior College is excited to be part of this initiative to involve our youths as Singapore’s ambassadors on such a significant occasion. Global awareness and crosscultural skills are important 21st century competencies that EJC seeks to develop in our students. This will be a good opportunity for them to put these skills into practice.”
Mr Wan Wee Pin, Project Director, Singapore Bicentennial Office (SBO) said, “We hope the Youth Ambassadors will be inspired to learn more about our longer history and understand the richness of it. We also hope they will be able to connect the dots and learn from our past when we were already very much linked to the region and the world. Through this, we hope they recognise our 3 DNA traits, which will guide us in charting our paths forward.”
Mr Goh Kong Aik, Director of Strategic Communications and Outreach, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said, “We hope that through training to guide at URA’s Singapore City Gallery, the students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of how Singapore came to be the distinctive city it is today, the planning challenges we faced and still face, as well as the innovative spirit needed to overcome them. We hope that their experience with us will inspire them to continue to contribute to shaping this city that we all call home and encourage others to get involved as well.”
Ms Gina Leong, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at NParks, said, “We are excited to have the students on board as part of our efforts to encourage youth to care for our natural heritage. We hope that through this experience, they will come to appreciate nature more and become stewards of our City in a Garden. We also look forward to meeting the delegates and through the students, share about our country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Singapore Botanic Gardens – and its contribution to research, conservation and education on not just Singapore’s flora, but also that of the region.”
Ms Ong Chui Leng, Senior Director (Programming), Gardens by the Bay said, “The Gardens by the Bay Ambassadors Programme has helped many youths to better understand what makes the Gardens a special place for plants. We hope that through this programme, the Singapore Convention Youth Ambassadors will gain a deeper appreciation of the world of plants and are able to engage our international guests with our Gardens’ sustainability story and natural heritage.”
Ms Katherine Yap, Chief Executive Officer, Maxwell Chambers, said, “The Singapore Convention Signing Ceremony and Conference provides a great opportunity for us to invite many distinguished legal practitioners from around the world to take time off their busy schedule to travel to Singapore. The Youth Ambassadors add a warm, personal touch to our hospitality. They can help show our foreign guests what we have to offer so that more of them would consider doing work out of Singapore.”
Singapore Convention Youth Involvement Programme
Reaching Out to Other Youths through Social Media
List Of Participating Schools in Singapore Convention Youth Involvement Programme
|SN||Name Of School|
|1||Anderson Serangoon Junior College|
|2||Catholic Junior College|
|3||Dunman High School|
|4||Eunoia Junior College|
|5||Hwa Chong Institution|
|6||Nanyang Junior College|
|7||National Junior College|
|8||NUS High School of Mathematics and Science|
|10||River Valley High School|
|11||St. Joseph’s Institution (Independent)|
|12||Tampines Meridian Junior College|
|13||Yishun Innova Junior College|
|Singapore Convention on Mediation||新加坡调解公约|
|Singapore Convention Youth Ambassadors||新加坡公约青年大使|
|Singapore Convention Youth Involvement Programm||新加坡公约青年参与计划|
|The Ministry of Law||律政部|
|The Singapore Bicentennial Office||新加坡开埠200周年纪念活动小组|
|The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA)||市区重建局|
|The National Heritage Board (NHB)||新加坡国家文物局|
|The National Parks Board (NParks)||国家公园局|
|Gardens by the Bay||滨海湾花园|
|Han Kok Juan
Deputy Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Law