A wide range of defence ministers, senior officials, corporate leaders and influential strategists from Asia, North America, the Middle East and Europe had confirmed their attendance for the annual Shangri-La Dialogue event
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) today announced its decision to cancel this year's Shangri-La Dialogue, scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 4–5, in light of the deteriorating global Covid-19 situation.
A wide range of defence ministers, senior officials, corporate leaders and influential strategists from Asia, North America, the Middle East and Europe had confirmed their attendance for the event. The IISS said that it had worked hard with the government of Singapore, and in particular acted in close consultation with Singapore’s Ministry of Defence, to ensure a successful Dialogue this year, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
"Even during Covid-19, the IISS believes in the role of face-to-face diplomacy to solve global problems. We continue to hold successful face-to-face events, including the IISS Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, which was convened in 2020, and will take place again on 19–21 November 2021," the institute said in a statement Thursday.
"Unfortunately the global COVID-19 situation has recently deteriorated, in part because of the rise of infectious new Covid variants. In Singapore there has been a rise in local cases, recently introduced new restrictions, and the prospect of further tightening cannot be ruled out – all of which creates uncertainty. Taken together these various factors mean that holding an in-person Shangri-La Dialogue this year has become unviable," it added.
The Shangri-La Dialogue had been convened every year since 2002 until the pandemic halted it last year.