Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to speak virtually on June 11 at Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore
SINGAPORE — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be speaking virtually at the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 11, the event's organiser said on Thursday (June 9).
Mr Zelenskyy, whose country has been facing an invasion by Russian military forces since February, will issue a special address at 4pm to the attendees of Asia-Pacific’s top defence summit.
This year’s dialogue, taking place at the Shangri-La Hotel from Friday to Sunday, will be led by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and will feature speeches by heads of states, defence ministers and military chiefs from across the world.
The annual dialogue in Singapore is organised by British research institute International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), though the event had been put on hold in the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Zelenskyy previously made surprise virtual appearances in other high-profile events, including the Cannes film festival last month, the Grammy music awards in April and Qatar's Doha Forum in March. He had also addressed the British Parliament and the United States Congress via a live video feed.
Other speakers at the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue include representatives from China and the United States, such as US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and General Wei Fenghe, Chinese State Councilor and Defence Minister.
Representatives from South-east Asian countries are also expected to speak, including Malaysia's Senior Minister of Defence Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Indonesia's Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto, Vietnam's Minister of National Defence Phan Văn Giang, and Dr Noeleen Heyzer, the United Nations' special envoy to Myanmar.
Mr Austin will on Saturday be delivering what organisers said will be a “major policy speech on US defence policy in the Indo-Pacific”, while General Wei is scheduled to “discuss China’s vision for regional order in the Asia-Pacific” on Sunday.
Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen will be holding a ministerial roundtable on Saturday and Sunday and will also be speaking at a plenary session on "new ideas for securing regional stability" on Sunday.
IISS said in its statement: "Taking place in the wake of both Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and intensifying competition between China and the United States, this year’s dialogue will provide a crucial opportunity for delegates to enjoy in-person discussions with global defence policymakers."
Mr James Crabtree, executive director of IISS–Asia, said that the dialogue will be in a “near-normal, post-pandemic format” after a two-year hiatus.
Around 500 delegates are expected to attend in person from the defence establishments of participating nations.