President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is due to deliver his message at the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore on Friday night, expecting to draw attention from key defense players around the world.

He will give his landmark address to a worldwide audience of 500 delegates from over 40 countries’ defense and security organizations as the first Philippine president at 8 p.m., Malacañang said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

The President will discuss the Philippines’ legal and geopolitical stance on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) in his forthcoming address, and will also highlight the important role the waterway plays not only in the nation’s economy but also in global trade.

During a media interview in Brunei Darussalam before leaving for Singapore, the President emphasized the importance of his upcoming keynote speech at the defense meeting, noting that the invitation alone is very significant.

“The fact that they asked the Philippine President to come and speak on that very subject is significant in the sense that it is a recognition that there are challenges that are facing the Philippines, specifically,” President Marcos told reporters.

Founded in 1958, IISS is the leading global authority on geopolitics and strategy, producing analysis and exerting influence on matters of war, power and rules for governments, the private sector and the expert community worldwide.

Maintaining offices in Bahrain, Berlin, London, Singapore and Washington D.C., IISS is widely known around the world for its authoritative research, influential publications and products.

Previous keynote speakers have included Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The defense gathering is putting together defense ministers, military leaders and senior defense officials, as well as business leaders and security experts, from across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and beyond to discuss critical security challenges.