Shangri-la Dialogue 2011

Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin expressed concern regarding the recent developments in Philippine maritime areasduring the 2011 Asia Security Summit on 5 June 2011 in Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. Speaking on the session, “Responding to New Maritime Security Concerns”, Secretary Gazmin referred to the latest actions of foreign naval vessels that have disturbed the activities of private firms conducting legitimate activities within the Philippines’ area of jurisdiction in the South China Sea.

Secretary Gazmin emphasized that the Philippines abides by the principles of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and looks forward to the peaceful resolution of the conflicting claims in the area. The Secretary also called on all relevant parties to work together and exercise self-restraint to ensure the peace and stability in the South China Sea. The Defense Ministers of Vietnam and Malaysia joined Secretary Gazmin in calling for the need to maintain the area’s stability during the same plenary session.

Secretary Gazmin was one of the distinguished speakers along with several other Defense Ministers of Asia-Pacific countries who spokein the plenary sessions of the Summit. In his remarks, he impressed upon the participants that maritime security is a complex issue as it involves both state and non-state actors as well as traditional and non-traditional concerns. Given the complex nature of new maritime security concerns, armed forces should develop capabilities that would enable them to synergize their efforts with civilian agencies, cooperate with other armed forces, and specialize in a role where their strengths and assets are best utilized. 

The Secretary also conducted bilateral meetings with the defense ministersof Singapore, New Zealand and Australia at the sidelines of the Asia-Security Summit as well as interacted with the other ministers during the luncheon meetings hosted by Singapore’s defenseminister. In the said meetings, the Secretary affirmed the Philippines’ commitment in furthering cooperation with its partners, working towards the peaceful resolution of issues as well as maintaining peace and stability in the region.           

Organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Asia Security Summit, otherwise known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, is an annual security forum participated by Government officials, academics and representatives from international non-government organizations in the Asia- Pacific. The 3-day annual event facilitates the exchange of views and information among the participants as well as bilateral meetings between invited defenseministers at the sidelines of the Dialogue.