I visited Singapore on Saturday 4 June and Sunday 5 June for the International Institute for Strategic Studies 10th Asia Security Dialogue: The Shangri-La Dialogue.
This was my first visit to Singapore as Defence Minister, and the first time I attended the Shangri-La Dialogue.
Australia’s Defence Minister has now participated in all ten Shangri-La Dialogues.
The Shangri-La Dialogue has emerged as an important element of the region’s peace and security architecture and is an opportunity for Ministers of Defence from the region and beyond to discuss current security and defence issues and emerging strategic challenges both multilaterally and bilaterally.
I participated in the Dialogue’s plenary session discussion on Asia’s New Distribution of Power and its Implications. This was an important discussion of the defence and security implications of the historic shift in influence to the Asia-Pacific region and the role of regional architecture in managing our shared security challenges.
In addition to participating in the Dialogue, I held bilateral meetings with my Ministerial colleagues who attended, including Dialogue host Singapore Defence Minister Ng, Bruneian Deputy Minister for Defence Mustappa, Chinese Defence Minister Liang, East Timorese Secretary of State for Defence Pinto, Indian Minister of State for Defence Raju, Indonesian Minister for Defence Purnomo, Japanese Defence Minister Kitazawa, Korean National Defence Minister Kim, New Zealand Defence Minister Mapp, Philippines National Defence Secretary Gazmin, Thai Minister of Defence Prawit, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence Fox and Vietnamese National Defence Minister Thanh.
I also spoke with United States Defense Secretary Gates. He offered his condolences for our recent fatalities in Afghanistan. We also discussed the US Global Force Posture Review. I also met with Senator John McCain and Commander Pacific Command, Admiral Bob Willard.
I met separately with my Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministerial colleagues from Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom. This year is the 40th Anniversary of this important mechanism for regional security and stability.
I was joined at the Dialogue by the Secretary of the Department of Defence, Dr Ian Watt, and the Chief of the Defence Force designate, Lieutenant General David Hurley.
Imagery is available via the following link: