News story

Defence Secretary outlines plans for Indo-Pacific security at global summit

The international community must stand up as one to tackle extremism and complex cyber threats, Gavin Williamson has declared.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking at an alter during a plenary session at the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking during a plenary session at the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue. Crown copyright.

The Defence Secretary was among several high-profile speakers at the 17th annual Shangri-La Dialogue Asia Security Summit, in Singapore, where he emphasised the need for partners to come together to tackle shared and increasing challenges.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Standing united with allies is the most effective way to counter the intensifying threats we face from countries that don’t respect international rules.

Together with our friends and partners we will work on a more strategic and multinational approach to the Indian Ocean region – focussing on security, stability and environmental sustainability to protect our shared prosperity.

Before heading to the summit, the Defence Secretary travelled to Malaysia, where he met with his new counterpart, Mohamad bin Sabu.

From there, he travelled to Brunei to observe a display of skills from British jungle forces posted there, as well as taking time to speak to the soldiers and their families personally.

The Defence Secretary then moved onto the final leg of the trip, in Singapore, to attend the three-day Shangri-La Dialogue.

A Memorandum of Understanding, strengthening defence ties between the UK and Singapore, being signed in the margins of the summit by Mr Williamson and his counterpart Ng Eng Hen.
A Memorandum of Understanding, strengthening defence ties between the UK and Singapore, was signed in the margins of the summit by Mr Williamson and his counterpart Ng Eng Hen. Crown copyright.

After listening to heads of state and other notable figures, as well as holding private bilateral meetings, Mr Williamson formed part of an expert panel alongside representatives from France and Singapore to discuss improving regional security co-operation.

A Memorandum of Understanding, strengthening defence ties between the UK and Singapore, was signed in the margins of the summit by Mr Williamson and his counterpart Ng Eng Hen.

He then visited personnel on board HMS Sutherland, which was docked nearby as one of three British ships that will form a largely unbroken naval presence in the region through 2018.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking at an alter on board HMS Sutherland.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking on board HMS Sutherland. Crown Copyright.
Published 4 June 2018