Minister of National Defence, General Ngô Xuân Lịch, delivers an opening speech at the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus (ADSOM+) in Hà Nội on Tuesday. — VNS Photos Hồng Minh
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam hopes countries will co-operate to successfully implement ASEAN military and defence activities amidst the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnamese Minister of National Defence, General Ngô Xuân Lịch, made the comment while delivering the opening speech at the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus (ADSOM+) in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
The video conference, chaired by Việt Nam, featured top defence official from the other nine ASEAN countries, eight partner countries including Russia, China, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India as well as representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat.
General Lịch noted that despite the difference in time zones, the full attendance at the conference showed the strong co-operation and support for Việt Nam’s position as chair of ASEAN 2020, as well as mechanisms in which ASEAN plays a central role.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a complicated and huge non-traditional security challenge, which has been negatively affecting all aspects of social life throughout the world, no country can handle the pandemic on its own,” he said, stressing the importance of co-operation and the role of multilateral organisations and mechanisms.
“With co-operation, countries will together overcome this difficult period and soon bring life back to normal,” said the Vietnamese minister, adding that geographical distance would not hinder co-operation, but prompt countries to create appropriate forms and methods to cope with the situation.
Lịch said ASEAN and its partners were proactive in responding to the situation, implementing many effective online activities. He said he highly appreciated the recent efforts of the ASEAN military medical forces for organising an online drill on fighting COVID-19.
“This is a practical work, contributing to the realisation of the results of the ASEAN Special Summit on the COVID-19 pandemic response and the Joint Statement of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on defence co-operation in response to pandemics,” he said.
During the online conference, countries share perspectives on the world and regional situation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the experience of the countries' military in disease response.
During the conference, countries shared perspectives on the world and regional situation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the experience of the countries' military in disease response.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of National Defence, Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh expressed his belief that with each country's efforts as well as co-operation among countries, the COVID-19 pandemic would soon be repelled.
“With that belief, the Ministry of National Defence of Việt Nam is determined to organise ASEAN defence and military conferences this year according to the plan,” he said.
“Accordingly, this ADSOM+ online conference does not replace the ADSOM+ conference scheduled to be held in late August 2020,” he said, adding that the ministry would soon notify countries on the organisation to ensure absolute safety for all delegates to attend.
He also said a defence industry exhibition would be held later this year on the sidelines of the expanded ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in Việt Nam and invite international defence delegations and businesses to attend. — VNS