Shangri-La Confirms Keynote Speaker
By WENDELL MINNICK
TAIPEI - The U.K.-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has confirmed that the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, will be the keynote speaker at the 10th IISS Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, to be held in Singapore from June 3-5.
"Since its inception in 2002, the Shangri-La Dialogue has evolved as a key element of the Asia-Pacific's regional security architecture, where national security establishments from some 27 countries have met to exchange views on regional challenges," said John Chipman, IISS director-general and chief executive.
The agenda as outlined for the 10th Shangri-La Dialogue will include six plenary sessions covering emerging security challenges for the Asia-Pacific, new military doctrines and capabilities in Asia, Asia's new distribution of power and its implications, China's international security interests, and building strategic confidence and avoiding worst-case outcomes.
The dialogue will also include five special sessions on defense budgets, Afghanistan, regional territorial disputes, nuclear developments in the Asia-Pacific, and armed forces and transnational security challenges.
"As in previous years, at the 2011 Shangri-La Dialogue there will be ample opportunity for private bilateral and multilateral meetings," Chipman said.
There has been no confirmation on who else will attend the 10th Shangri-La, but past top-tier leaders have included U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. Robert Willard.
Others have included top-tier defense and foreign officials from every Asia-Pacific nation. South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak gave the 2010 keynote address.
The Summit has also seen an increase in defense industry sponsorship and attendance. The 2010 summit was sponsored in part by BAE Systems, Boeing, EADS, Keppel, Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi, Raytheon, Singapore Technologies Engineering and MacArthur Foundation.
The mix of foreign leaders and top-tier defense industry officials has made the Shangri-La Dialogue one of the premier defense security summits in the world.
Defense News has covered the event since the seventh Shangri-La in 2008 and will continue to provide coverage at the 2011 summit.