Vietnamese delegates to 10th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (Source: VNA)
Vientiane (VNA) - The 10th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) concluded on May 25 afternoon in Vientiane, Laos, with defence chiefs signing a joint declaration reaffirming the significance of maintaining navigation and aviation freedom in the East Sea based on internationally-recognised rules, including UNCLOS 1982.

The document highlighted the commitment of all sides to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), ASEAN’s six-point principle in the East Sea and the joint statement at the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the occasion of the DOC’s 10th anniversary, while again emphasising the need to finalise a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

The declaration expresseds concern over the frequency, scale and complexity of non-traditional threats, while reiterating the need, commitments and collective responsibility of the ADMM in coping with those challenges and promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region.

It reconfirms the central role and position of ASEAN as the main driving force of defence and security cooperation with partner countries in an open, transparent and inclusive structure.

The ASEAN defence ministers also praised the establishment of the ASEAN Community on December 31, 2015, while recognising the first ADMM in Kuala Lumpur 10 years ago as an important milestone that laid the foundation for defence cooperation mechanisms among ASEAN member states.

The declaration highlighted the importance of achievements and progress in regional defence and military cooperation that led to the establishment of a series of other partnership mechanisms.

It also lauded important outcomes of the 10th ADMM themed “Promoting Defence Cooperation for a Dynamic ASEAN Community,” while welcoming activities to mark the 10th anniversary of the ADMM.

The Ministers also congratulated the Philippines on taking the position of Chair of ASEAN, the 11th ADMM and the 4th ADMM+ in 2017.-VNA