Singapore–US Strategic Dialogue on Biosecurity
June 10, 2014
Welcome and introductions
Session 1: General Strategic Threat Perceptions about Biosecurity
National perceptions about biosecurity vary between countries and are influenced by factors including historical experiences, regional issues, perceived risks of terrorism, current events, national priorities, and other dynamics. During this roundtable discussion, participants will explore respective national perspectives on biosecurity and the historical and political contexts underlying biosecurity practices in both countries. Is there agreement on primary biosecurity threats and risks both between and within the US and Singapore? Are there shared definitions and perceptions of the importance of biosecurity? How have past experiences shaped current perceptions?
Opening remarks: Dr. Vernon Lee and Dr. Kenneth Bernard
Session 2: Emerging Life Sciences and Technology: Challenges and Opportunities for Biosecurity
Emerging biotechnologies are widely believed to have positive effects for medicine and health, and for national economies. These powerful developments are accompanied by the potential for both better medical countermeasures as well as increased risks for the potential for new weapons and for consequential accidents. How do the US and Singapore see the future of biotechnology changing the ability to develop medical countermeasures, as well as the potential for increased risks, and how should the US and Singapore evaluate these developments? In light of these trends, how should each country go about making strategic investments in biosecurity?
Opening remarks: Dr. Lee Fook Kay & Dr. Tara O’Toole
Perspectives in Biosecurity: Dr. Richard Danzig, former Secretary of the US Navy
Session 3: Safety and Security: Overlapping Mandates and Different Strategies
Biosafety and biosecurity are often working together, and this session will focus on the increased formalization of biosafety in Singapore and the US. What are the most pressing biosafety issues in Singapore and in the US, and how does each view biosafety problems on the horizon?
Opening remarks: Dr. Teck-Mean Chua and Dr. Barbara Johnson
White House Tour: For Singaporean Guests
June 11, 2014
Presentation on US Biological Research Governance: Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Session 4: Balancing Restrictions and Promotion of Biotechnology; Oversight of Research
Singapore passed biosecurity legislation in 2006 that put in place biological agent and toxin security measures similar to what the US has for biological select agents and toxins (BSATs). Topics of discussion for this session will include dual-use research concerns and governance of research. In this session, attendees will also discuss other strategies for identifying and addressing risks in biological research.
Opening Remarks: Dr. Jim LeDuc and Dr. Tikki Pangestu
Session 5: Productive Engagement: New Means for Strengthening Information Sharing, Risk Management Strategies for Biosecurity, and Responding to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern
This discussion will explore formal and less-formal opportunities to collectively and collaboratively reduce the threat of emerging infectious diseases such as MERS and new influenza viruses, deliberate and accidental misuse of biological research, and opportunities to increase the likelihood of early intervention, attribution, and resolution of an outbreak. The International Health Regulations (2005), Global Health Security Agenda, and Biological Weapons Convention each prioritize efforts to strengthen international efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, and can offer formal opportunities for collaboration.
Opening Remarks: Dr. Noreen Hynes and Dr. Annelies Wilder-Smith
Perspectives on Biosecurity
Remarks and discussion led by Mr. Andy Weber, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs at the US Department of Defense
Session 6: Asia-Pacific Regional Contingencies
Examining areas where Singapore and the US may have to work together to resolve regional contingencies with biosecurity implications. This discussion will also consider the role of collaborative relationships between scientists, public health practitioners, and the security community.
Opening Remarks: Mr. Kwa Chong Guan, Dr. Julie Fischer, and Dr. Seth Carus
Session 7: Conversation with Mr. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Singapore’s Ambassador to the USA
Participants share views and insights from the last 2 days of discussion.
Session 8: Looking Forward to the Next Singapore-US Biosecurity Dialogue
Suggestions by participants for topics of interest for the fall meeting in Singapore.