Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How delivered the keynote address at the 11th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) Sherpa Meeting this morning. Addressing an audience of senior defence and military officials and academics, Mr Heng highlighted how countries can adapt regionalism as a stabilising force to further strengthen the regional security architecture and regional security cooperation in this period of heightened tensions. He said, "Our best option remains to improve and adapt various mechanisms – global, multilateral, and certainly regionally – through effective regionalism to serve the needs of our time… and I would like to offer here three suggestions. First, revitalising our collective commitment to build a cohesive region... Second, sub-regional groupings within Southeast Asia can be used to address more targeted issues… Third, regional organisations and institutions must be prepared to adapt their internal mechanisms and to adjust to new external realities."
The SLD Sherpa Meeting strengthens the SLD by providing an inter-sessional platform for delegates to engage in frank discussions on current defence and security issues. This year's SLD Sherpa Meeting is held from 15 to 17 January 2023 at the Shangri-La Hotel, with approximately 96 government and non-government delegates from 27 countries, regional groupings and international organisations participating. Widely recognised as Asia-Pacific's foremost defence and security summit, the SLD brings together defence ministers, senior officials and security experts to engage in discussions on key issues that shape the defence and security landscape of the region. Singapore will host the 20th SLD from 2 to 4 June 2023.