The world has been transformed by the global financial crisis giving rise to numerous questions on the future of the international. New uncertainties have derived from a shifting power distribution as well as from a series of transnational challenges including climate change and resource management.

Through these unprecedented developments, the Asia Pacific region is becoming strategically more significant and a key player in international affairs.

The Singapore Global Dialogue is Asia’s foremost platform to examine pressing challenges in international affairs. Moving beyond regional concerns, the inaugural event addressed the broader strategic environment and provided an Asian voice to global debates.

Presented by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), this annual event in its 2010 debut, brought over 400 participants, including leading practioners, policymakers, and opinion formers from various government policy sectors, security forces, the international business community, academia, think tanks and NGOs from across Asia, North America, Europe and Africa to Singapore.

Delivering Singapore Global Dialogue’s opening keynote address – “The Evolution of the International Landscape and the Role of China” – was Tang Jiaxuan, Former State Councillor, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of China. The Honourable John Howard, Former Prime Minister of Australia, presented the World Leader Keynote Address – “Strategic Challenges of the Region.”

Other speakers at Singapore Global Dialogue included eminent individuals such as Dr Paul Wolfowitz, former President of the World Bank; His Excellency M K Narayanan, a former National Security Advisor who is currently the Governor of West Bengal, India; Ambassador Christopher Hill, Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and former US Ambassador to Iraq; Andrew Sheng, and Chief Adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission and former Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong; Dr Nur Hassan Wirajuda, Indonesia’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.

Speakers and participants of the conference had an insightful, and occasionally heated, exchange on the current global and regional developments. The themes discussed and debated included the prospects for cooperation or competition between resurging powers; global responses to common transnational uncertainties and an outlook on the future of global governance.