At the meeting (Photo: VNA)
 
Bangkok (VNA) – Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich attended the 13th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) in Bangkok, Thailand on July 11, which ended with a joint declaration on sustainable security.

The joint declaration reiterated the strengthening and optimisation of defence coordination among ASEAN member countries and between ASEAN and its ADMM Plus partners; the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, and safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea; along with the need to foster mutual trust and refrain from actions that could further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful solutions to dealing with disputes in line with the law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

The document also highlighted the significance of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards refining the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text, paving the way for concluding an effective and practical Code of Conduct (COC).

The 13th ADMM also adopted several important documents on guidelines for assessment of the ADMM Initiatives, the role of ASEAN defence establishments in supporting border management, the expansion of the ASEAN direct communications infrastructure (ADI) in the ADMM process to the Plus countries, the establishment of ASEAN Military Medicine Conference, Terms of Reference of the ASEAN Our Eyes initiative, and ADMM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction.

The ASEAN defence ministers agreed to hold an informal meeting between ASEAN defence ministers and China, the US, Russia and Japan.

Speaking at the event, Minister Lich suggested that ASEAN should strengthen solidarity and self-reliance, as well as uphold its central and leading role in regional cooperation mechanisms.

He expressed his belief that the bloc will reap successes in defence collaboration, thus making positive contributions to peace, stability and development in the region.

Lich said Vietnam is actively preparing for ASEAN Year 2020 under its chairmanship, stressing that the country will continue pushing forward the bloc’s initiatives. He also urged countries to partner with Vietnam so that it can fulfill tasks as the host country in 2020.

The Vietnamese delegate affirmed that Vietnam supports the region’s joint efforts in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Fishing) which is often associated with other transnational crimes, such as human trafficking, drug trafficking and piracy. He reported that Vietnam is implementing necessary measures to prevent its fishermen from encroaching on other countries’ waters, and vice versa.

The Vietnamese Defence Ministry will actively join Thailand’s initiative on promoting the role of armed forces and defence agencies in dealing with IUU, Minister Lich said.

He also voiced support of Thailand’s initiative on for promoting awareness about the role of ASEAN defence establishments in supporting border management, noting that Vietnam’s Defence Ministry pays special attention to boosting cooperation between border guard forces and neighbouring countries.

The ADMM-13 officially opened in Bangkok on July 11 under the theme “Sustainable Security.-VNA