CONCEPT OF THE COLOMBO DEFENCE SEMINAR - 2018
The world in the 21st century has been thrown into severe disarray due to the unprecedented expansion of disruptive forces such as the human displacement, human-induced climate changes, misuse of technology and political extremism. These disruptive forces have posed a severe challenge to the existing state structures as they have hampered the optimal functioning of the state in its activities in political and socio- economic spheres. As a result, safety and security of citizens are severely affected. It is the provision of security that constitutes the strongest bond between the state and its citizens. The era that we live in is very unsettling and the states find it difficult to provide a more secure environment for its citizens as some of these disruptive forces are beyond their control. Therefore, states have to find new ways to deal with this challenging task and to make the world a safer place for their citizens. It is not a one-way process. Both the state and its citizens have to cooperate with each other in facing this challenge.
The emerging security threats are beyond the scope of traditional security ambit of a state. Most of the issues of domestic politics that were traditionally studied under Economics or Development Studies have now been transformed into issues of national security. The emerging disruptions could take place in any field that has a significant impact on the functioning of the daily lives of the citizens. These disruptions may not take the form of a war but some of them could produce an outcome worse than a war. The emergence of this new security environment has aptly justified the military involvement in handling such matters. In this backdrop, military forces are generally regarded as the first respondents to deal with crisis situations.
The nature of non-traditional security threats is such that a solution to these problems cannot be found within the national boundaries of a single state. Their solution would require the collective efforts of many nations. Collective engagement and a comprehensive range of policy instruments are necessary to respond effectively. This broadened concept of security has in turn influenced how countries now view national safety. In recent years, many countries have developed consolidated national security strategies in order to face modern security threats.
The Sri Lanka Army aspires to bring together a global network of defence partners for crucial discussions towards formulating a collective and assertive approach to repel security threats on nations. With the experience of conducting internationally accepted Defence Seminars as an annual event since 2011, the Sri Lanka Army is planning to conduct the ‘Colombo Defence Seminar’ this year as well. The “Colombo Defence Seminar 2018” will be held as a two-day forum at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, on 30 and 31 August 2018 on the theme: ‘Security in an Era of Global Disruptions.’
The Colombo Defence Seminar 2018 will set the stage for active discussions to stimulate critical thinking on the theme ‘Security in an Era of Global Disruptions’ in carefully sequenced sessions comprising presentations, panel discussions, and participant-oriented group discussions throughout the two-day program. Further, prominent national and international scholars, heads of think tanks, and diplomats from across the globe will contribute their ideas to optimize the discourse and enrich the discussions. This prestigious forum is a grand annual event which hosted over 800 dignitaries including 77 delegates from over 34 countries last year. The organizers of the Colombo Defence Seminar 2018 aim at a wider international participation and expect to promote an intellectually rigorous discourse on international security.
OBJECTIVES OF THE COLOMBO DEFENCE SEMINAR - 2018
The successful outcome of the Seminar hinges on the achievement of the following objectives:
1.To create a forum for local and international scholars to discuss ‘Security in an Era of Global Disruptions’, focusing on the importance of security, remedial action and application of the concept in creating a wider discourse in international affairs.
2.To promote intellectual connectivity amongst those who seek strategic, sub-regional, regional, and global partnerships through discussions by and with prominent and renowned national and international scholars, think tanks, and diplomats.
3.To provide an opportunity for exchange of views, experiences and knowledge acquired by experienced nations on various aspects of the topic.
4.To develop awareness of learning strategies on how to improve the mechanisms of security to deter global disruptions by means of statecraft.
5.To offer challenging academic content that promotes, engaged learning and critical thinking on means of developing and sustaining the peace-building processes the world over through UN peacekeeping and peace-building missions.
6.To initiate analytical dialogue on the vital need for stretching the influence of a country to be concern over security in an era of global disruptions through its initiatives as applicable to root causes of respective nations especially in the age of the return of geopolitics, and create a distinct mode of legitimacy and acceptance that may not be possible otherwise.