Singapore forms strategic futures network to discuss emerging risks
By S Ramesh | Posted: 13 September 2010 1952 hrs
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Prof. S Jayakumar making a speech at Global Futures Forum General Meeting.
SINGAPORE: Singapore has recently formed a strategic futures network involving the deputy secretaries from all government ministries and chaired by the Head of Civil Service.
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Professor S Jayakumar said the aim was to discuss emerging issues and risks, and share experiences on foresight projects and programmes.
Speaking at the first Global Futures Forum meeting held in Singapore, he said such arrangements would grow as more government agencies establish futures units of their own.
The support structure would give Singapore government officers the space and opportunities to test their ideas and learn from one another.
Professor Jayakumar added having identified potential risks and challenges, the next step was to translate them into resilience frameworks, structures and processes.
He said Singapore has advocated a Whole-of-Government mindset and Whole-of-Society attitude.
"As Coordinating Minister for National Security, I chair a Security Policy Review Committee with a number of my cabinet colleagues to ensure coordination of security policy at the highest levels of government," prof Jayakumar said.
"A number of Inter-Ministry Committees have also been set up to coordinate efforts across several domains, including aviation security, maritime security, land transport security, cyber security, critical infrastructure protection, and securing sensitive material.
"We have paid particular attention to the security of key installations such as Jurong Island and Changi Airport, and to the safety of our territorial waters," he said.
But Senior Minister Jayakumar acknowledged he worries from time to time about fatigue and complacency setting in.
He said there were no easy solutions to this and there was always a price to pay for sustaining vigilance on a continuing basis.
"In the area of building resilience, one can never do enough. No one would wish for our resilience to be tested, but in the face of an uncertain future and strategic challenges, we have to stand prepared for the worst," he said.
The Global Futures Forum Meeting has 240 participants and speakers from over 30 countries.
The theme of the three-day conference is "Building Resilience in the Face of Future Shocks".
The meeting will primarily focus on understanding the concept of national resilience with special attention paid to the contribution of intelligence analyses and strategic foresight in strengthening resilience.