Think Tank (2/2024)
Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony (2nd from left) with the AHCS Leadership Team. Photo credit: Asia Centre for Health Security on LinkedIn
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Biosecurity, International Security in Asia Centre for Health Security
17 Apr 2024

RSIS is participating in the Asia Centre for Health Security (ACHS), launched on 17 April 2024. The ACHS will be a new Singapore-based academic think tank that will prepare Asia for current and emerging biological threats and safeguard the health of our communities.

The new centre is designed to be a multi-disciplinary collaboration, based primarily at the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. It will be led by Centre Director Professor Hsu Li Yang, in close collaboration with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).

RSIS contributes in biosecurity and international security research. The lead is Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony, who holds the NTU President’s Chair in International Relations and Security Studies, and serves as RSIS’ Professor of International Relations and Associate Dean (International Engagement), and Head of RSIS’ Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies. Other experts involved come from the fields of bio-risk management, health security, law and governance, and preparedness and response systems.

The establishment of the centre is driven by the momentum generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the view that Asia could be a global hotspot for emerging infectious diseases and epidemics. In this regard, Prof Caballero-Anthony and her team will seek to map out biosecurity capability and risks in Southeast Asia, such as those arising from rapid advances in biotechnology and proliferation of biosafety labs, or from climate-induced emerging infectious diseases. They will also explore avenues for advancing regional frameworks, standards, and norms to enhance preparedness and response capacities to prevent and mitigate such threats, including dual-use research of concern in life the sciences and potential threats that arise from use of biological weapons.

In addition to ACHS working with government agencies, academic institutions, and other like-minded organisations to contribute towards effective policy-making and biosecurity practices in Asia, ACHS will run webinars, hold policy roundtables and offer fellowships in health security.

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