04 May 2015
4 May 2015
Marina Mandarin Singapore
Mr Teo Chee Hean
Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security, and Minister for Home Affairs
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to the 9th Asia Pacific Programme for Senior National Security Officers (APPSNO). Organised by the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, with the support of the National Security Coordination Secretariat in the Prime Minister’s Office, APPSNO has convened every year since 2007. It brings together senior national security practitioners, policymakers and academics from various countries for a rigorous exchange of ideas and networking.
The APPSNO theme for this year is “Glocalisation and National Security”. What do we mean by this? In the national security sphere, globalisation has had specific and in some cases unexpected outcomes. Threats can play out in a specific manner that require adaptive and particular responses. Examples might include the return of IS fighters from the warzone in the Middle East, or even pandemics. These are issues that security practitioners worldwide have to face. But the responses are not and should not be universal. These threats may have to be dealt with in different ways depending on location and context. Those who track extremism, for example, will increasingly need to understand the churn of extremist ideologies between the global and the local. On the other hand, those who are experts in crises situations also need to adapt and learn particular ways of communication that enable their respective society to cohere, and remain resilient, after a serious incident. In short, general prescriptions work only if the specific adaptation and understanding takes place.
Five panels have been brought together this year to address the issues posed by glocalisation for national security practitioners. These will deal with national identity, governance and communication, radicalisation, and also practical case studies. The opening panel today will serve the purpose of unpacking the theme of ‘Glocalisation and National Security’ – understanding how threats elsewhere have changed the way we manage risks, and understanding how countries have adapted their own national security frameworks, either holistically, or in response to specific emerging issues such as cyber-threats. We have drawn on accomplished speakers from across the globe to share their expertise. We are also pleased to have two very distinguished persons delivering special lectures – Mr Ronald Noble, the former Secretary-General of Interpol, and Mr Peter Ho, the former head of Singapore’s Civil Service.
The set of themes to be discussed this week is the most diverse in the history of APPSNO. Not every national security practitioner assembled here has covered all these issues. However, I do not think you should feel uncomfortable. Increasingly, it has become apparent that security professionals need to branch out and become familiar with domains that traditionally may not have been in their comfort zone. These include social media trends and analytics, as well as post-crisis communication. I should also observe that in Singapore, we have had to constantly evolve our thinking with issues of maintaining a harmonious balance in the face of the forces of globalisation. This is no easy task as in a plural society like Singapore, different segments can easily be affected by ideologies from other countries, or even imported through new media. I am therefore glad that there will be a session on national identity where I understand some of these issues will be taken up.
As I have mentioned, we cannot always assume that what works in one location will suffice as a solution in a different place. But that is why networking, and sharing ideas and experiences, is so necessary between national security practitioners. I have no doubt some of your most meaningful encounters and exchanges will take place during your informal exchanges or even during the external excursions that have been planned for you.
In closing, thank you for making the commitment to come here to contribute to the discussion and expand our understanding of the issues. May you all have a very productive week ahead.
I now invite the Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Mr Teo Chee Hean to deliver his opening address. DPM, please.
Last updated on 07/05/2019