The RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies convened the annual conference of the NTS-Asia Consortium in Singapore on 27-28 March 2018. The conference brought together around 50 participants from 31 member-institutions of the Consortium and its non-member partners. The theme for this year’s conference was “Resilience in the Face of Disruptions.” The conference provided an enabling platform for Consortium members to discuss multidisciplinary approaches to building and strengthening resilience in the face of complex challenges brought about by disruptions.
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS, kicked off the conference with his keynote address on disruptions and resilience amidst climate change, environmental degradation, and the advent of new forms of technology. Ambassador Ong argued that while ‘disruption’ is not a new phenomenon, innovative and collaborative approaches are still needed to manage its implications. He emphasised that multilateralism and multi-stakeholder cooperation are crucial for finding sustainable solutions to transnational problems arising from disruptions.
During the panel sessions, Consortium members deliberated on disruptions and resilience-building in five key areas, namely environment and climate change, agriculture and food security, humanitarian crisis and forced displacement, cyber technology, and democracy. They jointly examined the drivers of disruptions in these areas and their implications for states and societies from an NTS perspective. They likewise put forward recommendations that can help cultivate resilience among state and non-state stakeholders amidst complex challenges from disruptions.
In her closing remarks, Assoc Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head of the NTS Centre at RSIS and Secretary-General of NTS-Asia Consortium, highlighted the need to further understand the implications of emerging disruptions using an NTS lens and assess if there are sufficient governance mechanisms, institutions and norms to cope with the challenges. She thanked the members of the Consortium for their active participation and valuable contributions that made this year’s conference successful.
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