Defence ministers, senior military officials and top defence analysts from 27 countries in the Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe will gather in Singapore on May 31 for the 12th IISS Asia Security Summit (or the Shangri-La Dialogue).

Convened by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Shangri-La Dialogue is the key forum for the discussion and analysis of defence and security issues in the region and beyond.

Dr John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of the IISS, said “The Summit is now recognised as an indispensable element of the Asia-Pacific’s regional security architecture. This year, as ever, it will provide a crucial space where ministers and key officials can discuss security policy issues present and future.”

During this year’s Dialogue, lasting from May 31st to June 2, delegates from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, China, the US, Russia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, the UK, Canada and others will participate in five plenary sessions. They will discuss the US approach to regional security; defending national interests and preventing conflicts; military modernisation and strategic transparency; new trends in Asia – Pacific security; and advancing defence cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.

Delegates also join in special session discussions on avoiding incidents at sea; the Afghan drawdown and regional security; missile defence and the Asia-Pacific; new military technologies and doctrines; defence diplomacy and conflict prevention; and the cyber dimension to Asian security.

Bilateral meetings will be also held on the sidelines of the dialogue.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the Dialogue.

The IISS said in its statement that Vietnamese Prime Minister’s participation indicates the crucial role the Dialogue plays in inter-governmental discussions about defence and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr John Chipman said “We are delighted that Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung will be speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue. His participation and the perspective of Vietnam on current defence issues and conflict resolution opportunities will add significant weight to the crucial discussions about regional security which will take place there.”

Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Tran Hai Hau told Vietnam News Agency’s Singapore-based reporter that “Host Singapore and the organising board’s inviting Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to deliver the keynote opening dinner address at the Dialogue reflects their appreciation of Vietnam’s role towards regional security.”

The Ambassador noted, Prime Minister’s acceptance to attend 2013 Dialogue served as a reflection of Vietnam ’s foreign policy of activeness and responsibility towards peace, stability, security and cooperation in the region as well as towards building the ASEAN community by year 2015.

Vietnamese Prime Minister’s participation is significant to joint efforts by ASEAN to maintain peace and security in the East Sea , especially at the time when all ASEAN member countries are unanimous on early launch of negotiations with China on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea , the diplomat added.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will be the fifth head of government/state other than Singapore to make the keynote speech at the summit, following Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at Shangri-La Dialogue 2009, RoK President Lee Myung-bak in 2010, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2011 and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last year.-VNA