The 13th annual Asia-Pacific Programme for Senior National Security Officers (APPSNO) was held at Marina Mandarin Singapore from 7 – 12 April 2019. Organised by the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) with support from the National Security Coordination Secretariat (NSCS) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the programme’s theme was National Security in the Age of Disruption”.
Speakers from a range of nations, including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, and Singapore shared their expertise and experiences on the following topics:
1. Drivers of Disruption – rethinking politics in a time of unprecedented challenges, a changing geopolitical landscape, and the
weaponising of artificial intelligence to create propaganda.
2. Disrupting Violent Extremism – trends in radicalisation and mobilisation dynamics, cultivation of neo-Nazi groupuscules in an
online context, and managing terrorism, extremism, and exclusivism in Southeast Asia.
3. Cybersecurity and Disruption – the current cybersecurity threat landscape and international efforts to address cyber threats, the
geopolitics of technology, safety and security of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems, and Singapore’s strategy in
creating a resilient and trusted cyber environment.
4. Technology and Society – digital platforms disrupting the labour force, models of platform cooperativism, the impact of
automation on trade policy, upskilling workers, and the governance of Chinese society with AI technologies.
5. Case Studies – climate change as a national security threat, the regulation of cross-border cyber-intrusions, the impacts to
society and work from new technology, and universal basic income as a solution.
The event brought together senior national security officers from the Asia Pacific and beyond to Singapore for a week of
thought-provoking and relationship-building conversations. Sixty-three participants from 23 countries gathered to discuss the
challenges of emerging national security concerns. Foreign participants were joined by their Singaporean counterparts from
various government ministries and agencies.
In keeping with the Programme’s theme, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan opened the programme by highlighting the changing parameters of national security challenges.
Beyond the panel presentations and breakout discussion groups, international participants delivered country presentations, providing a concise overview of their respective state’s national security threats and responses. Further enriching the programme was a distinguished dinner lecture by Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE, former Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service, who outlined several key requirements for effective organisational leadership in disruptive times.
Last updated on 15/07/2019