SINGAPORE: The organiser of the Shangri-La Dialogue said it “remain(s) committed” to holding this year's event in person, after the Singapore government on Friday (May 14) announced tighter COVID-19 safety measures.
The defence summit draws delegates from dozens of countries each year. It is scheduled to be held on Jun 4 and 5 this year.
Since its launch in 2002, it has been held in Singapore annually except for last year when it was cancelled due to global COVID-19 travel restrictions.
In a statement on Friday, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told CNA that it is aware of the announcement by Singapore’s COVID-19 multi-ministry task force.
“We remain committed to holding the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in person in early June,” said a spokesperson.
“We will review our safe management measures in light of today’s news to ensure the highest safety levels for all our participants and the wider community in Singapore.”
The spokesperson added that IISS will continue to monitor the local and global COVID-19 situation closely.
Amid a rise in community cases, the multi-ministry task force held a media conference on Friday announcing tighter measures, including a cap of 100 people at conferences with pre-event testing and 50 without testing.
On whether conferences such as the Shangri-La Dialogue and the World Economic Forum in August will go ahead, co-chair of the task force Lawrence Wong said that the organisers are monitoring the situation globally and in Singapore “very closely” and will provide updates in due course.
“As far as the Singapore side is concerned, we are in touch with them and we will provide them the latest information on our prevailing public health updates and cases, measures we are taking, so that they have the latest information to decide on the events,” he said.
Mr Wong added that organisers will also consider the broader public health situation and whether potential attendees are prepared to travel.
Participants expected at the Shangri-La Dialogue include US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and keynote speaker Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
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