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  • Writer's pictureBait Al-Amanah

The 20th Shangri-La Dialogue and the Southeast Asia Young Leaders Program 2023

Aiza Mohamad, Consultant at Bait Al Amanah, was invited to join the 20th annual Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier defence summit, in Singapore this year.

The Shangri-La Dialogue is organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and is an inter-governmental conference which gathers defence leaders from all over the Asia Pacific. Running concurrently as part of the overall Dialogue is the Southeast Asia Young Leaders Program (SEAYLP), which invites participants from all ten ASEAN member states as well as ten other countries, such as East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the United States. Aiza was one of three delegates from Malaysia taking part in the SEAYLP.

This year, the SEAYLP ran from the 2nd of June to the 5th of June. The delegates attended the Dialogue’s plenary and special sessions, which included, among many others, discussions of Asia’s evolving maritime security order; developing models for cooperative security; and building a stable and balanced Asia Pacific. Aside from the main Dialogue’s agenda, the SEAYLP had its own itinerary. Delegates took part in closed-door roundtable discussions of topics such as avoiding war in the Asia Pacific, and the implications of emerging technology for security in the region. They were also invited to an IISS book launch, as well as a dinner reception hosted by the Australian High Commission in Singapore.

The Shangri-La Dialogue saw some particularly historic moments this year. Among these were memorable interactions between US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and China’s then-Defence Minister, Li Shangfu, as well as a passionate speech delivered by Prabowo Subianto in his capacity as Defence Minister of Indonesia.

The SEAYLP ended with a tour of the Google Asia Pacific headquarters in Mapletree Business City, Singapore.

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