Top-level talks on security issues

Amidst a myriad of challenges to international security, influential military and academic leaders and diplomats are discussing issues affecting the Asia Pacific at a summit in Queenstown this month.

Delegations from the United States, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and NATO are attending the ‘Asia Pacific Security Innovation Summit’ on December 12 and 13.

It’s organised by leading New Zealand think tank Asia Pacific Security Innovation (APSI) Forum and Centre of Excellence, which was set up in 2019 and also hosted forums here over the past two years.

‘‘It’s about getting the experts to come together to talk about the world problems and bring about cooperation between like-minded nations to best keep the bad guys at bay,’’ summit spokesperson Brett Murphy says.

According to an APSI newsletter, the summit ‘‘will be devoted to the most topical questions of security governance as how to strengthen cooperation among democracies in the XXI century; what the role of small states amongst big powers is; how to react to the possible violation of alliance norms; and how to build up an efficient and effective resilience to new security challenges’’.

NZ link: Polish NATO lawyer Dr Joanna Siekiera

Speakers include retired NATO commander and German army leader Major General Gert-Johannes Hagemann, an APSI board member, Polish NATO lawyer Dr Joanna Siekiera, who studied at Victoria University in Wellington, Claire Chin, first secretary for Taiwan in NZ and, from the US embassy in Wellington, deputy chief of mission Christopher Allison.

Having the last speaker is ‘‘massive, given world affairs at the moment between the US, China and Russia’’, Murphy says.

Local mayor Glyn Lewers is opening the summit.

Entitled ‘Security Challenges and Strategic Cooperation Among Democracies’, it takes place at Holiday Inn Remarkables Park and is being sponsored by ISIFFA International.

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