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Secretary speaks at Fullerton Forum in Singapore

Secretary speaks at Fullerton Forum in Singapore

[February 02 2018]


Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC attended the Sixth IISS Fullerton Forum: The IISS SLD Sherpa Meeting 2018 in Singapore. The Secretary was accompanied by the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe to the conference held at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore from 28th to 30th of January (2018).

Known as the 'IISS Shangri-La Dialogue Sherpa Meeting', the IISS Fullerton Forum plays an important role in preparations by participant governments and by the IISS itself for the annual IISS Shangri-La Dialogue defence ministers' summit, which will be held in Singapore for the seventh time from 1-3 June 2018.

Secretary Waidyaratne was the first speaker to address the important gathering on Tuesday morning (30th January). Addressing the gathering on "Managing Challenges at Sea" the Secretary said that oceans in the world are being exploited at an unprecedented pace and that oceans have become fighting grounds between countries competing with each other for reasons such as supremacy, economical advantage and extension of power.

He said that the 21st century has seen new threats posed on the oceans such as maritime terrorism, human trafficking, drug running, unreported and unregulated fishing etc. Shipping traffic between the East and West has also greatly increased. Subsequently, the challenges faced in the maritime arena have proved to be more dynamic, unpredictable and diversified in nature to understand, he said.

"Having discussed the present maritime challenges posed in front of legal enforcement and naval agencies, one must understand the dynamic nature of the challenges that maritime community and think tanks are confronted in various parts of the world, both collectively and individually", he noted.

He stressed the importance of mutual interest and understanding among countries when addressing on a mechanism meant for mitigating and negotiating maritime disputes and to maintain good order at sea. Further speaking he said, the impact of globalization and interdependence will steadily grow in the future, and so will unlawful actors who utilize seas for nefarious designs. Consequently, nations are likely to adopt the idea of collectiveness over doing things unilaterally per force rather than as a matter of choice, he added.

Mentioning some challenges emanating from the sea namely; freedom of navigation, safety and security at sea and matters relating to maritime environment and marine resources, he said that these maritime challenges should be managed with a view to achieve a sustainable solution.

In conclusion he said that, we need to understand and tackle the ever evolving maritime arena and the complex web of challenges surrounding it and we must be willful in giving up our disparities both at regional level and global level with an objective of achieving the maritime corporation for secure seas.

The keynote address was made by Hon. Song Youngmoo, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Korea.

Full text of the speech >>

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