ASEAN Defence Ministers and their Plus Counterparts Reaffirm Commitment for Regional Peace and Security at the 2nd ADMM-Plus
Photo: The Opening Ceremony of the 2nd ADMM-Plus.
Three years since its establishment, the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) has cemented its role as a premier venue for strategic dialogue in defence and security issues among ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners with practical cooperation constituting the main thrust of the process. This is the second time the ASEAN Defence Ministers met with their counterparts from eight of ASEAN Dialogue Partners, namely Australia, China, Japan, India, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States.
In their second meeting, the Defence Ministers reviewed the remarkable progress of the ADMM-Plus’ cooperation in the five priority areas of cooperation, namely humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, peacekeeping operations, military medicine, and counterterrorism.
The ADMM-Plus has brought together militaries of the eighteen nations to enhance their networks in a multilateral diplomatic setting and provided them with opportunities to develop capabilities to collaborate with their regional partners through joint exercises.
This year is an eventful year for the ADMM-Plus as they have four key exercises to their recognition. The very first ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Military Medicine Exercise was held in Brunei Darussalam in June this year involving the full participation of the ADMM-Plus countries. The ADMM-Plus Counterterrorism Exercise (CTX) will be conducted in mid-September in Indonesia, the Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (MS FTX) at the end of September in Australia, and the peacekeeping table-top exercise later this year in the Philippines.
Continuing the path for practical cooperation, the Ministers discussed proposals to deepen cooperation. The discussion also touched on new areas of cooperation under the five priority areas as the first five ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group will begin their new cycle of work next year. Beginning from next year, the ADMM-Plus will also look into the issue of humanitarian mine actions. A new ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Humanitarian Mine Actions has been established to promote practical and effective cooperation in dealing with consequences of explosive remnants of war in the region.
The Ministers also discussed the ways and means the defence sector can contribute to addressing the new and emerging non-traditional security issues such as cyber security, bioterrorism, transnational trafficking, and pandemic diseases and agreed that the defence establishment must play a strong supportive role to their civilian law enforcement counterparts.
The Defence Ministers from ASEAN and the Plus countries gathered in Bandar Seri Begawan on 29 August 2013 to convene the 2nd ADMM-Plus. The 3rd ADMM-Plus will convene in Malaysia in 2015.
The 2nd ADMM-Plus was preceded with the ADMM Retreat on 28 August 2013 where the ASEAN Defence Ministers discussed future directions of the ADMM and ADMM-Plus in an informal setting. An informal meeting between ASEAN Defence Ministers and the United States’ Secretary of Defence, Mr. Chuck Hagel, also took place at the sidelines of the 2nd ADMM-Plus.
For the Brunei Darussalam Joint Declaration of the 2nd ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, please click here.