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A European pivot of interest to Asia was signalled today as the IISS announced defence leaders and senior officials attending The Shangri-La Dialogue 2013, 31 May – 2 June in Singapore.

Dr John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of the IISS, said:

'The striking feature about the official participation is the breadth and depth of, surprisingly, European interest. All of the 'Big Three' European defence minsters - French, German and British - will be there, as well as Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt. We are also delighted that Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union is participating for the first time, and speaking in plenary. She will be accompanied by the chairman of the EU military committee. The chair of NATO's Military Committee, General Knud Bartels, is also attending. European military expenditure may be in decline but defence diplomacy in the Asia- Pacific cannot be ignored.'

Tim Huxley, Executive Director IISS-Asia said:

'Our Asian delegations are strong, with the Defence Ministers of Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam attending, and China's delegation being led by Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, People’s Liberation Army, who will speak in plenary, amongst numerous other military experts from China.'

He added: 'Twelve years into the Dialogue, the forum will hold true to the values of the IISS and continue to provoke intellectual debate on so-called 'hard' security issues such as preventative diplomacy and avoiding incidents at sea.'

Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnam, will deliver the Keynote Address and also attending are the defence ministers of Australia, Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand,  Vietnam and the US.

The agenda includes five plenary sessions on: The US Approach to Regional SecurityDefending National Interests, Preventing Conflict; Military Modernization and Strategic Transparency; New Trends in Asia-Pacific Security; and Advancing Defence Cooperation in the Asia Pacific.

The Dialogue will also host six special sessions on: Avoiding Incidents at Sea; The Afghan Drawdown and Regional Security; Missile Defence in the Asia-Pacific; New Military Technologies and Doctrines; Defence Diplomacy and Conflict Prevention; and The Cyber Dimension to Asian Security.

Defence Ministers will, as ever, use the Dialogue as a platform for making policy announcements on current strategic defence issues, and will hold private bilateral and multilateral meetings with the aim of enhancing collaboration between countries.

Notes to Editors:

Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnamwill deliver the keynote address on the evening of Friday 31 May.

Countries represented at this year’s Dialogue include: Australia, Azerbaijan,  Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Columbia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Timor-Leste, UAE, UK, US, and Vietnam.

Registration for the Dialogue is now closed, but the IISS is pleased to announce a variety of ways to engage virtually with the forthcoming Shangri-La Dialogue 2013. 

  • Shangri-La Voices, a blog dedicated to the Summit, will bring this important security discussion to an online audience and will be regularly updated with news of the Dialogue and views from the conference floor. Shangri-La Voices will be launched on 28 May.
  • IISS experts and staff, conference delegates and journalists alike will be tweeting on the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 2013 providing real-time commentary on the latest developments and speeches. Visit the IISS on Twitter (@IISS_org) and look for tweets referencing #IISS_Asia.
  • Search for and like 'TheIISS' on Facebook.
  • Find exclusive video insights and interviews on the IISS YouTube channel.
  • Photographs from the Dialogue will be placed on the IISS Flickr photostream.

Accredited media will be able to pick up badges and press packs from 12:00 on Friday 31 May at the press registration desk on the Mezzanine Floor of the Shangri-La Hotel. Please note that press should bring photo ID and credentials or they will be denied access. Access to the Secured Area will not be available until 16:00.

The IISS is the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict and has offices in London, Singapore, Bahrain and Washington. It is the primary source of accurate, objective information on international strategic issues. Publications include The Military Balance, an annual reference work on each nation’s defence capabilities; Strategic SurveyThe Annual Review of World AffairsSurvival: Global Politics and Strategy, a bi-monthly journal on international affairs; and the Adelphi book series.

For additional details visit the Shangri-La Dialogue homepage 

For further information, please contact Ellen Miller, Press and Communications Officer, press@iiss.org

For all other media enquiries please email: sldpress@iiss.org