The 5th IISS Fullerton Forum: 22–24 January 2017
The fifth annual IISS Fullerton Forum, the Shangri-La Dialogue Sherpa meeting, convened at the iconic Fullerton Hotel in Singapore from 22–24 January 2017. Malaysia’s Minister of Defence Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein delivered the keynote address and, for the first time, the forum’s agenda included a special dinner address by Major General (Retd) Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines.
Over 20 countries from the Asia-Pacific and further afield (including a delegation from the EU) were represented at the Fullerton Forum, whose delegations were led by senior defence officials, military chiefs and advisors. Beyond its role as a catalyst for the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, the forum has grown to become a key fixture for military diplomacy in the Asia Pacific, with numerous bilateral meetings taking place on the margins of the forum between participating delegations. The forum not only serves as an important barometer of regional tension, but also a focal point for the elucidation of national defence policies and the strengthening of defence relationships across the region.
Over a day and a half nearly 80 delegates, including senior defence officials and military officers as well as non-governmental experts, considered a range of regional security concerns as well as avenues for enhancing regional security cooperation. IISS senior staff members chaired five closed-door sessions formulated to offer delegates the opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the 15th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in 2016 and to prepare the ground for their national delegations and defence ministers attending the forthcoming summit, to be held 2–4 June 2017.