MINDEF - Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Singapore

06/03/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/03/2023 08:02

President Halimah Yacob Commemorates 20 Years of the Shangri-La Dialogue ..

President Halimah Yacob hosted a dinner at the Istana this evening for Head of state, Ministers, senior officials, military leaders and defence experts attending the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD), which also commemorated the 20th edition of the conference.

Present at the dinner was Dr Tony Tan, who was Singapore's Minister for Defence during the inaugural SLD in 200 Recalling the genesis of SLD, Dr Tan said, "Back in 2002, many of us in the defence sector felt that the Asia-Pacific region needed a platform where defence leaders could meet to discuss key security challenges facing the region and gain a better understanding of one another's perspective, as no similar platforms of such scale and stature existed then." Dr Tan shared that Singapore had agreed to host the inaugural edition of SLD in 2002 as it believed that "peace and stability was, and remains today, an important precondition for the region's economic growth and success."

In her opening address, President Halimah spoke about the growth in scale and stature of the SLD through the years to remain relevant in the ever-changing security landscape. She highlighted that the SLD has covered a wide range of topics through the past 20 editions of SLD, including counter piracy, the South China Sea, climate change and the Russian-Ukraine conflict. President Halimah said, "The myriad of security challenges that have emerged over the years, underscore a real need for an open and inclusive platform like the SLD."

Congratulating International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on its efforts to grow the SLD over the years, President Halimah said that Singapore is honoured as host for the SLD to foster frank and open dialogue among key defence leaders and senior officials. Concluding her speech, President Halimah expressed her hope that SLD would continue to be a platform for "countries to have a chance to hear each other out, understand different perspectives, and have candid discussions" in order to reduce the risk of misunderstandings and prevent conflict.