ASEAN ministers adopt joint statement on defence cooperation

ASEAN defence ministers adopted a joint statement on defence cooperation for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN at their 14th meeting, held via videoconference on December 9.

Delegates of ASEAN member countries attend the meeting(Photo: SGGP)
Delegates of ASEAN member countries attend the meeting(Photo: SGGP)

The joint statement strongly reflects member states’ solidarity, unity, and commitment to regional peace, stability, cooperation, and development.

At the 14th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-14), chaired by Defence Minister, Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich, officials also discussed and approved some new concept papers and the standard operating procedure in the ADMM, along with the ADMM work plan for 2020-2022.

They applauded Vietnam’s proactive, thorough, and effective preparations during its 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship.

They held that amid the complex developments of COVID-19, members have taken proactive and timely actions to adapt to the new context and actively implement set priorities and initiatives, including successfully organising ASEAN defence - military meetings.

Member states have also proposed and carried out a number of initiatives on pandemic prevention and control while performing joint activities within the bloc’s defence - military cooperation framework, the ministers added.

Highlighting the fruitful and timely cooperation between ASEAN militaries in COVID-19 response, participants affirmed that thanks to efforts by each nation and close coordination among the member states, ASEAN countries have actively and effectively carried out cooperation activities so as not to let the pandemic affect defence ties, thereby improving mutual understanding and trust, contributing to regional peace and stability, and maintaining the bloc’s cooperative momentum and central role in ASEAN-led mechanisms.

They agreed at the meeting to continue promoting ASEAN’s proactiveness and cohesion in adapting to geopolitical and geostrategic changes by strengthening defence connections between ASEAN members as well as between the bloc and partner countries, in order to respond to traditional and non-traditional security challenges to maintain regional peace, stability, and development and bolster ASEAN’s centrality in the region and the world.