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Date [ 2015-02-12, 05:57 ]

The Minister’s focus was on the Asia-Pacific region.

Defence Minister Dr.Ng Eng Hen.

(Singapore=Koreanpress) Benjamin Kim =  Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen was in Germany to attend the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC), an annual high-level security conference that brings together foreign affairs and defence leaders from around the world. This year’s conference, held from February 6 – 8, 2015, was attended by heads of government, defence and foreign ministers, parliamentarians, military leaders and security experts.

Dr Ng spoke on the topic “Pacific Geopolitics: Reaping Promises and Avoiding Perils”, as part of a panel alongside four other speakers: Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhen Min, Japanese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi, Korean Chairman of the National Defence Committee, National Assembly Jin Ha Hwang and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security and Former US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michèle Flournoy.

He highlighted transnational threats, saying,” Terrorist threats from ISIS, Ebola Crisis, the alleged North Korean cyber-attacks on Sony and the ISIS hacking of the US’ Military’s Central Command Twitter are recent examples.

Dr Ng stressed the need for the region to work collectively to avoid perils in the Asia-Pacific security landscape, citing increasing military spending as well as the lack of a well-developed security architecture and strong collective will to protect the global commons as examples. At the same time, Dr Ng highlighted reasons for optimism, such as Asia’s fundamental pragmatism, multiple stakeholders in the region, and the rise of the Asian middle class.

Other topics that were discussed during the conference included the continuing security developments in Europe and the Middle East, the world in 2015, the war on terror, as well as information warfare.

As part of his programme, Dr Ng also spoke at the 7th Munich Young Leaders Round Table on February 8, 2015 on the topic of “Security Challenges for a New Generation.”  The Munich Young Leaders Round Table, held on the sidelines of MSC, brought together young leaders from governments, think-tanks and the private sector of the US, Europe, the Middle-East as well as selected Asia-Pacific countries to discuss issues related to foreign and security policy.

He mentioned the greater polarization that was taking place in Europe, asserting,”. Even prior to the Charlie Hebdo incident, the problems of integration existed, as all of us know. But recent elections in Europe have seen a shift to the right with growing anti-immigrant sentiments, and this pull to the political right – anti-immigrant, anti-globalisation – is a global phenomenon.”

Dr Ng also held bilateral meetings with a number of leaders, including French Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs , Jean-Yves Le Drian and Italian Minister of Defence, Roberta Pinotti. He also met German Minister of Defence, Dr Ursula von der Leyen, Indian National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval and UK Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon.


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