Colombo Defence Seminar begins on August 30

Colombo Defence Seminar - 2018, the eighth in the global defence conference sequence, themed on ‘Security in an Era of Global Disruptions’, will be held on August 30-31 at the BMICH.

Worldwide defence partners, strategists, policy-makers, security experts and analysts, capable of collectively evaluating fast-changing global concerns and exploring ways and means of challenging such issues have already confirmed their presence at the invitation of the Army.

‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2018’ expects to draw 800 foreign and local participants, including 13 foreign and 14 local speakers. Adding a new dimension to the sessions, many intellectuals, politicians, opinion makers and retired veterans of the field would share their views in separate panel discussions on the second day of the parley.

This year’s seminar sessions would include the topics ‘Demographic Transformation and Implications on Security’, ‘Technological Disruptions’, ‘Human-Induced Climate Change’ and ‘Political Extremism’ with focus on ‘Human Factors and Homeland Security’, ‘Global Challenge of Internal Displacement’, ‘Urban Security in the 21st Century’, ‘Cyber Conflicts and Future Power’, ‘Social Media and Authenticity: Global Security Challenges’, ‘Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Weapons’, ‘Role of the Military in Response and Mitigating Strategies (Regional Perspective)’, ‘Role of the Military in Response and Mitigating Strategies (Global Perspective)’, ‘Climate Geo-Engineering: Challenges and Opportunities’, ‘Role Played by Violent Non-State Actors’, ‘Ideological Polarisation’, ‘Destabilising the International System’, ‘Diaspora Communities Amidst Conflict’, ‘Technological Creativity: Challenges to Armed Forces’, ‘Climate Change: Future of Warfare’ and ‘Leadership in Mitigating Violent Extremism’.

The conference will be organised under the close supervision of Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake with the cooperation of the Directorate of Army Training and all the other Directorates.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will deliver the keynote address after the opening address by Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne, during the inaugural ceremony. The invitees and contributors to the seminar include high commissioners, chiefs of defence staff, commanders, security advisers, the Foreign Secretary, senior lecturers, directors, senior researchers, senior Tri-service officers, political advisers, under secretaries, administrators, telecom experts, analysts on terrorism and scholars representing more than 40 countries.

This year’s topic, ‘Security in an Era of Global Disruptions’ underlines the importance of current security issues that appear to be increasingly interconnected, in the wake of a multitude of threats against the security of nation states.

The Army laid the foundation for its flagship project in 2011. This dialogue is also held this year with the aim of formulating a collective and assertive approach while harnessing diverse opinions, intellects, skills and technical knowhow of global defence partners and also sharing the wide battlefield experiences of the Sri Lanka Army.

‘Colombo Defence Seminar’, which has by now carved a niche for itself in the international arena, is meant to promote global partnership through discussions with focus on expansion of disruptive forces, such as political and violent extremism, human displacement, human-induced climate changes, and the misuse of technology, which in turn have jeopardised the safety and security of citizens.

Emerging security threats and challenges against political and socioeconomic spheres, most of which are non-traditional, warrant collective efforts beyond the national boundaries of any single state.

The ‘Colombo Defence Seminar - 2018’ would therefore provide an ideal platform for intellectual brainstorming amid a wide spectrum of equal interests in order to seek collective mechanisms to counter such disruptions for sustaining the peace-building process.

In 2017, over 800 delegates including 77 foreign experts from 35 countries participated in the discussions that stimulated critical thinking on ‘Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends’.

By third week of August, representatives from Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, Chile, Canada, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Kenya, Korea, the Maldives, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, UK, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe have confirmed their participation. 

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