ASEAN Defence Ministers Chart the Future of Defence Cooperation towards ASEAN Community 2015

Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:28

NAY PYI TAW, 21 May 2014 - ASEAN Defence Ministers adopted two important documents, namely the Three-Year Work Programme 2014-2016 and the Concept Paper on Establishment of a Direct Communications Link at the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) which concluded yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw.  The Work Programme will guide the direction of the defence cooperation under the ADMM, while the Direct Communication Link will provide rapid, reliable and confidential means for the ASEAN Defence Ministers to communicate with each other in time of crisis and emergency.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN, H. E. Le Luong Minh highlighted that “2015 is an important year for ASEAN to set the stage for the establishment of an ASEAN Community and the role of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting is pivotal in realising the ASEAN Political Security Community.”

Under the theme of ”Defence Cooperation Towards Peaceful and Prosperous ASEAN Community,” the Ministers deliberated on the complex and fast-changing regional security environment, including traditional or non-traditional security challenges.  They also shared their views on approaches for further enhancing cooperation to reduce tension in view of the recent developments in the South China Sea. The Defence Ministers reflected on the critical role of the defence cooperation in maintaining ASEAN’s resilience in managing conflicts.  On non-traditional security issues, discussions ranged from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, cyber security, border security, and search and rescue operation.

The Ministers took note of the recent developments in the search and rescue mission of Flight MH 370 and expressed solidarity and unity with the Government of Malaysia in the ongoing search and rescue efforts.

At this meeting, the Defence Ministers signed the Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation towards Peaceful and Prosperous ASEAN Community. They also issued a Joint Statement on the sudden demise of the Minister of Defence of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichit, in a plane crash on 17 May 2014.

ASEAN continues to strengthen defence cooperation in the region as part of its community building efforts. As ASEAN is now at a critical juncture in realising the ASEAN Political Security Community 2015, the ADMM’s contribution in devoting sufficient resources to implement the remaining defence-related action lines in the APSC Blueprint is crucial.

Prior to the Meeting, SG Minh had a bilateral meeting with Liutenant General Wai Lwin, Union Minister of Defence, Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Both SG Minh and Lieutenant-General Wai Lwin exchanged views on the outcomes of the recently concluded 24th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw.

Download the full text of the Joint Declaration here

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