Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How delivered the keynote address this morning at the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) Sherpa Meeting. Addressing an audience of senior defence and military officials and academics, Mr Heng spoke about the continued relevance and usefulness of multilateralism to small and large countries alike, even though there is growing pushback today. He emphasised the importance of countries working together to strengthen multilateral institutions, and highlighted the need for countries to better communicate the benefits of multilateral cooperation. SMS Heng also stressed that doing so will allow countries to adapt multilateralism to meet common transnational challenges, including piracy, terrorism and natural disasters.
Organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Sherpa Meeting strengthens the SLD by providing an inter-sessional platform for delegates to engage in frank discussions on current defence and security issues. Hosted in Singapore since 2013, this year's SLD Sherpa Meeting is held from 19 to 21 January 2020 at Fullerton Hotel. Approximately 100 delegates, from over 28 countries regularly represented at the SLD, participated in this year's Sherpa Meeting. Widely recognised as Asia-Pacific's foremost defence and security summit, the SLD brings together defence ministers, senior officials and security experts to exchange views on key issues that shape the defence and security landscape of the region.
Also attending the SLD Sherpa Meeting is Malaysia Deputy Minister for Defence Liew Chin Tong, who will meet Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman during his visit to discuss bilateral issues.