Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reminisced about Mr Kofi Annan's powerful lecture in Singapore way back in 2000 on the importance of international law and order, in a condolence letter lauding the achievements of the former United Nations Secretary-General.
Mr Annan, who died last Saturday, was in Singapore then to deliver the Singapore Lecture on "Global Values: The United Nations and the Rule of Law in the 21st Century".
"He spoke eloquently of the need to maintain an international order 'based on something better than the grim maxim that might is right', and the value of international law to countries both big and small," said PM Lee in his letter yesterday to Mr Annan's wife, Mrs Nane Annan.
"His belief in the international system underpinned the sweeping changes he led during his time as UN Secretary-General," Mr Lee noted.
Calling Mr Annan "a tireless global statesman", Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said Mr Annan successfully strengthened the UN's central role in international affairs, and promoted global peace, security and sustainable development.
"I have fond memories of our interactions during Mr Annan's first official visit to Singapore with you in 2000," Mr Goh wrote in his condolence letter to Mrs Annan.
Mr Annan, who served as the first UN Secretary-General from sub-Saharan Africa, died at the age of 80 after an unspecified short illness.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, describing Mr Annan as a "strong supporter of multilateralism" in his condolence message to his counterpart Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey in Ghana, said the late Ghanaian diplomat will be fondly remembered for strengthening the global institutional framework for peace and security.