Prime Minister Turnbull with Southeast Asian Young Leaders

Southeast Asian Young Leaders’ Programme 2017

Inaugurated in 2016, the Southeast Asian Young Leaders' Programme (SEAYLP) returned to the 16th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in 2017 with a fresh cohort of young leaders.

Reflecting the diversity of the region and its strategic importance, participants were drawn from ten Southeast Asian countries, as well as Australia, Canada and Japan.

In total, 37 young leaders from 13 countries attended the Southeast Asian Young Leaders’ Programme at IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 2017. Almost half of the cohort were women. The leaders represented government departments, the armed forces, the private sector, research and academic institutions, and the media.

SEAYLP delegates not only participated in the full proceedings of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, but also attended four dedicated sessions, including a reception with Australian Prime Minister – and Keynote speaker at the summit – Malcolm Turnbull, a visit aboard the Canadian warship HMCS Winnipeg, and a post-summit seminar.

Delegates posed thought-provoking and insightful questions about the future of regional security at plenary and special sessions of the Dialogue, as well as on Twitter, via the hashtags #SLD17 and #SLDYoungLeaders.

IISS Southeast Asian Young Leaders' Programme 2017

‘This programme is important because it enables the next generation of thought leaders and decision-makers [...] to come together to exchange views on the major strategic and security issues of the day. 

‘Amidst an uncertain global environment, [...] the Shangri-La Dialogue and SEAYLP’s role in catalysing meaningful dialogue and making sense of such dynamics is invaluable.’

Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Singapore

History of the Southeast Asian Young Leaders' Programme

The launch of this ground-breaking initiative by the IISS took place at the 15th Asia Security Summit in 2016.

With generous support from the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United States Embassy in Singapore, the British High Commission in Singapore, the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta, and OUE Limited, 43 young leaders from ten Southeast Asian countries attended the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 2016.

Highlights of the programme's launch included a delegates’ lunch attended by Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of US Pacific Command, and Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. The inaugural event also included introductions to US Secretary of Defense Dr Ashton Carter and UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.

View photos from the 2017 event in our Flickr album below

IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 2018

The 17th Asia Security Summit will be held in Singapore on 1–3 June 2018.


Reflections from SEAYLP

Sowing the seeds for ASEAN’s evolution

ASEAN needs to stand united and formulate a coordinated response to counter an emboldened China and the spread of Islamic State ideology, argues SEAYLP delegate Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Reflections from SEAYLP

Whose rules-based order?

Reflecting on discussions with fellow SEAYLP delegates, Nobuhiko Tamaki disputes the Western origins of the rules-based order in Southeast Asia and examines efforts by regional governments to engage China.

Reflections from SEAYLP

Security aspirations for Asia

Aspiration alone is not enough for Southeast Asian states to defend the regional rules-based order, which is under threat. As SEAYLP delegate Angelica Mangahas discovered, breaking big challenges down into smaller bites is a good place to start.