16/08/2010 | 17:24:15

Important milestone in ASEAN defence ties

The ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM+) is an important milestone in the bloc’s defence cooperation, said Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh.

In a recent article sent to the press, Vinh said that ADMM+ is the highest defence cooperation mechanism between the defence ministers of 10 ASEAN countries and eight Dialogue Partners, namely China, Russia, the US, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

As an important part of the regional security structure, besides its open and constructive dialogues, the ADMM+ also looks towards its role as a forum for practical, effective and significant cooperation between ASEAN and countries outside the region in the field of defence and security, he said.

Being a forum where ASEAN countries exchange their defence resources with the Dialogue Partners, ADMM+ offers an opportunity for ASEAN nations, including Vietnam, to access and attract resources and experiences from the Dialogue Partners to address intra-bloc security issues, especially non-traditional security matters such as terrorism, piracy and natural disasters, as well as share their own resources, experiences and strengths with the Dialogue Partners, helping strengthen the association’s presence and defence role in the region and the world at large.

According to the Vietnamese official, the fourth ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting (ADMM-4), themed, “Strengthening ASEAN defence cooperation for a stable and developed region”, was held in Hanoi in early May and recorded good results.

The outstanding success of ADMM-4 was the completion of important legal foundations for ASEAN’s active expansion of its defence and security cooperation with the Dialogue Partners, he said, adding that the meeting entrusted Vietnam to host the first ADMM+ in Hanoi from October 11-13.

These are gigantic efforts that represent ASEAN’s political will, determination and solidarity as well as the results of the joint preparations of ASEAN member countries, Vinh stressed.

He went on to say that the ASEAN Defence Senior Official Meeting Retreat (ADSOM Retreat) in Ho Chi Minh City on August 5 reached a consensus on two important documents: the draft Joint Statement of the first ADMM+ and a document for discussion entitled “Potentials, Prospects and Orientations for Practical Cooperation in the ADMM+ Framework.”

These documents are considered political declarations that reflect the aspirations for cooperation of ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners, give a general outlook of the ADMM+ operation mechanism and point out the future of the ADMM+, he noted.

In addition, the countries agreed to clarify the operation mechanism of the ADMM+, the establishment and operations of working teams and groups of experts, and the functions and tasks of defence senior officials from 18 participating countries.

Deputy Minister Vinh said the first ADMM+ will be a highlight in the year Vietnam assumes the ASEAN Chair, affirming the country’s defence policy of peace, self-defence and high responsibility for peace and stability in the region and the world.

An important issue to be discussed at the meeting will be the exchange of resources between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners to cope with non-traditional security issues which they have tended to increase recently and are posing new challenges to the regional peace and stability, threatening the development all ASEAN countries.

Over recent history, regional countries, including China , the Philippines , Indonesia and Vietnam have suffered the serious consequences of natural calamities. Therefore, dealing with non-traditional security challenges is a long-term and complicated task that requires the cooperation and exchanges of resources of many countries.

Vinh affirmed that as the host country, Vietnam will continue discussions and exchanges with other ASEAN members and the Dialogue Partners to reach a high level of consensus for the first ADMM+.

There are still many jobs to do in preparation for the meeting but with the determination of the Vietnamese Party and State, the Ministry of National Defence’s active preparations together with the enthusiastic support of other ASEAN countries and the Dialogue Partners, the first ADMM+ will be surely successful, he concluded./.

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