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VietNamNews

ASEAN declaration reinforces community

Update: March, 17/2015 - 08:58
Viet Nam's delegation, led by Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh (R). — VNS Photo Kim Dung

HA NOI (VNS) — The ninth ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM-9) ended yesterday with a joint declaration issued by all member nations to reaffirm the ADMM's commitment to work towards the realisation of an ASEAN community, including the ASEAN Political-Security Community.

Regarding matter of the East Sea, the joint declaration asks ASEAN member states to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC), ASEAN's Six-Point Principles and the Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit, and ready for expeditiously working towards an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct (COC).

The defence ministers showed concern over the rise of violence and brutality committed by the self-declared Islamic State and other extremist organisations and radical groups in Iraq and Syria. They condemned all terrorist acts.

The joint declaration confirmed the hosting of the second ASEAN Defence Interaction Programme, which aimed at networking and strengthening co-operation among the member states' young military officers. The declaration also complimented the ASEAN Defence Establishment and Civil Society Organisations for their co-operation on non-traditional security issues.

ASEAN member states said they would work towards the development of the ASEAN community's Post-2015 Vision and promote the role of the ADMM and the ADMM-Plus in maintaining regional peace and stability.

Viet Nam's delegation, led by Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh, joined the discussion of different issues, including traditional and non-traditional regional security issues, as well as the threat posed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The Vietnamese delegation proposed the development of a mechanism for improving and outlining future orientations for the ADMM.

Earlier, Malaysia's initiative to establish an ASEAN peacekeeping force was supported by several member nations.

African Union model

ASEAN will study the African Union model in their quest to set up an integrated peacekeeping force of the 10-member regional grouping, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said yesterday.

"African Union peacekeeping forces "go under the UN (flag), so why not ASEAN? We just have to check how they do it," Hishammuddin told reporters after chairing a one-day meeting of ASEAN defense ministers at the resort island of Langkawi off the northern Kedah state.

Malaysia, which took over the rotating ASEAN chair this year, revived the idea of an ASEAN peacekeeping force that was first mooted over a decade ago among ASEAN member countries.

While expressing optimism that the idea of an ASEAN peacekeeping force will materialize, Hishammuddin said it "requires time and a lot of negotiations on how to go forward".

The concept of such a force failed to take off in the past as some member countries feared it would clash with ASEAN's longstanding principle of non-interference in each other's domestic affairs.

The African Union, formerly known as the Organisation of African Unity, has deployed peacekeeping forces under the UN flag to conflict zones in Africa like Sudan and Somalia. — VNS/KYODO

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