Security a threat to economy, says Zinga

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The National, Friday 17th May 2013

 THE complex and non-traditional security challenges of the 21st century remain a threat to the country’s ability to achieve the economic and social aspirations of Vision 2050, an official said.

Office of Security Coordination and Assessment director-general Ian Zinga said this yesterday while speaking at the opening of a three-day special retreat at Kokoda Trail Hotel where all defence heads are to deliberate on the new Defence White Paper.

A final draft is to be handed to the defence council on Saturday.

“The nation is on the verge of major socio-economic and social change and it is therefore the responsibility of Defence and other security agencies to work together to enhance security capabilities in order to provide a safe and secure environment for the nation’s development,” Zinga said.

He said the new white paper was the key government document to shape the country’s defence capabilities to deal with security challenges of today and into the future.

PNG defence attaches from the Asia Pacific Region are part of the discussions which Zinga said would provide the necessary international perspective required to developing the White Paper.

“The retreat marks the birth of what would be a period of great change for PNG where defence will now be able to shape itself and be able to identify where capability enhancement is needed to meet the challenges of the globalised world,” Zinga said.

Commander PNGDF Brig-Gen Francis Agwi and Defence Secretary John Porti stressed the need for input by the committee as the DWP is the pathway to a new-look PNGDF that would be organised and equipped to address all security issues.