Much anticipated three-day Shangri-La Dialogue begins in Singapore; 41 countries in attendance

Gurkha police officers guard near the entrance of the Shangri-La Hotel, the venue for the 20th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's annual defense and security forum, in Singapore, Friday, June 2, 2023. - AP

SINGAPORE, June 2 (Bernama): Singapore is hosting the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) for three days beginning Friday (June 2) until Sunday (June 4), according to the republic’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).

In a statement, MINDEF said this year’s edition will see 41 countries in attendance, with 48 Ministerial-level delegates and more than 35 senior defence officials, including Chief of Defence Forces, as well as prominent academics.

Among the delegates are United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and China State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Li Shangfu, it said.

The ministry noted that Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese will deliver this year’s Keynote Address on the first day.

Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas and President of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos-Horta meanwhile will speak at a plenary session on Sunday on the topic of "New Partnerships for Asia-Pacific Security”.

President Halimah Yacob will also host delegates to a dinner at the Istana on Saturday (June 3).

The Singapore Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen will speak at the seventh plenary session on Sunday on the topic of "Developing Models for Cooperative Security”.

As part of the SLD, Dr Ng will host Ministers to Roundtable discussions on Saturday (June 3), and the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers to breakfast.

Dr Ng will also conduct bilateral meetings with Ministers and senior officials from various countries on the sidelines of the SLD.

The SLD was established in 2002, and is the premier defence and security conference in the Asia-Pacific.

"Over the years, the SLD has provided a valuable, open, and neutral platform for the exchange of perspectives on key defence and security issues for the Asia-Pacific,” said MINDEF.

SLD is organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). - Bernama

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