Singapore PM highlights non-traditional security threats

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Singapore, May 31 (UNI) Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on the international community to work together to tackle the non-traditional security threats, which are food shortages and natural disasters.

Speaking at the annual Asia Security Summit, dubbed as the Shanghri-La Dialogue, Mr Lee highlighted food security as an immediate concern, especially the recent sharp rise in food prices, which has led to unrests in several developing countries.

"International agencies like the World Bank and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation need to promote R&D in agro-technologies, to develop higher-yielding and climate-resistant crop varieties, using the full power of modern bioscience, including genetic modification techniques," he stressed in a keynote address to the conference last night.

Mr Lee also called for international cooperation in providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief, citing the challenges of helping out in the Myanmar's Cyclone Nargis and China's Sichuan earthquake.

The Singapore Premier noted that the Sichuan earthquake has shown a big change in China and offered a glimpse of its future -- a more open and self-confident nation.

But he regretted Myanmar's response following Cyclone Nargis as the government continues to decline offers by many countries to deploy military equipment and personnel for relief operations.

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