Day 2 of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue began with a hotly anticipated address by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

The 16th Asia Security Summit, a unique meeting of ministers and delegates from over 50 countries, is now underway in Singapore.

Over 500 delegates representing 32 nations from across the Asia-Pacific and beyond have gathered at the Shangri-La Hotel to examine the region’s most enduring security challenges.

Download the full summit agenda

All plenary sessions are broadcast live on the IISS website and YouTube channel.

The hashtag for the summit is #SLD17.

Day 2 Highlights

Mattis delivers landmark speech

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis reassured the Asia-Pacific that his country remained committed to strengthening regional alliances and reinforcing its military capabilities. He urged China to recognise that North Korea had become a strategic liability.

Upholding the rules-based regional order

In the first-ever all-female panel to take place at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, the defence ministers of Japan, Australia and France offered their perspectives on the importance of nurturing the regional rules-based order. North Korea's nuclear programme, the South China Sea disputes and climate change were all cited as stresses that demanded unified responses.

New challenges for crisis management in the Asia-Pacific

The defence ministers of Malaysia and Canada, and the Chairman of the Pakistan Armed Forces' Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, called for the deployment of strength and unity in the face of challenges such as religious extremism and natural disasters brought about by climate change. Each nation had to exercise trust and restraint. 

Simultaneous special sessions

The afternoon session of the Dialogue saw delegates faced with the difficult choice as to which of our simultaneous special sessions to join. Audio recordings for all four sessions – covering nuclear dangers in the Asia-Pacific, new patterns of security cooperation, the defence implications of emerging technologies and practical measures to avoid conflict at sea – will be published shortly.

New thinking on old challenges

The IISS is proud to host a cohort of young people from business, law, journalism, government and academia to take part in the South East Asian Young Leaders’ Programme (SEAYLP). The 37 SEAYLP delegates, drawn from 14 countries, have a unique chance to engage policymakers in debate on the strategic challenges in the Asia-Pacific.

The programme was first launched at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in 2016 and delegates are playing a full part in the Dialogue sessions, as well as enjoying an additional programme of group discussions and audiences with ministers.

SEAYLP delegates are tweeting using #SLDYoungLeaders

Subscribe to our Young Leaders at #SLD17 Twitter list


This post is part of the 2017 IISS Shangri-La Voices blog. It will provide a lively mix of news and views from the 16th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, taking place in Singapore from 2–4 June.

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