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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.”
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.