Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Văn Giang (centre) attends the meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Participants at the 15th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) held online on Tuesday adopted a joint declaration, demonstrating the commitment of ASEAN member countries to continue to strengthen cooperation in response to the pandemic in the future.
Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Văn Giang led a Vietnamese delegation attending the meeting.
The 15th ADMM Joint Declaration – Bander Seri Begawan Declaration – commemorates the 15th anniversary of ADMM towards a future-ready, peaceful and prosperous ASEAN.
The declaration also seeks new forms of cooperation and supports ASEAN’s capacity to be ready to cope with emergency medical situations, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the declaration, ASEAN member states vowed to promote joint work to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic as instructed in the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and ASEAN defence ministers’ joint statement on collective response to the outbreak of the pandemic, including holding dialogues to share the best practices and lessons, seeking new forms of cooperation, including inter-pillar and inter-sectoral coordination, supporting ASEAN’s readiness to overcome public medical emergencies, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, via the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine and the Network of ASEAN Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defence Experts.
Ministers also highlighted the need to maintain and promote peace, security, stability, maritime and aviation safety and freedom. They welcomed initiatives to build trust such as the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), the Guidelines for Air Military Encounters (GAME), the ASEAN Direct Communications (ADI) and other activities within the framework of the DOC in order to enhance communications, foster mutual trust as well as mitigate tensions and risks of accidents, misunderstanding and miscalculations both in the air and at sea.
The declaration also highlighted parties’ commitment to forging peaceful and constructive cooperation to turn the East Sea into a water of peace, stability and prosperity via full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards soon reaching a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Parties concerned also pledged to promote maritime security, safety and freedom to peacefully settle disputes in the East Sea.
Speaking at the event, Minister Giang expressed his support for Singapore’s proposal to continue holding the ADMM Plus, which was launched in 2010 when Việt Nam served as ASEAN Chair.
He said the mechanism helped enhance the sharing of opinions on defence and security strategies amid regional and global uncertainties, as well as reflected the commitment to promoting practical cooperation between armies of the regional nations and eight dialogue partners for the sake of peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
At the meeting, participants also reviewed preparations for the upcoming eighth ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and approved the organisation of informal meetings of ASEAN Defence Ministers and Defence Ministers of partner countries in 2021. — VNS