The second ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus concluded on August 29 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei with the signing of a joint statement reaffirming the need for closer cooperation among member countries.

In the statement, defence ministers from ASEAN member states and dialogue partners underscored the necessity to guide their relationships by fundamental principles mentioned in the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, especially the renunciation of the threat or use of force, and restraint.

The ministers also reiterated their commitment to reinforcing their defence ties in promoting peace and stability in Asia-Pacific based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and benefit, and compliance with international law.

The ministers agreed to further promote capacity-building through greater engagements and interactions, enhance interoperability via training and joint exercises, and establish mechanisms for effective response, said the statement.

They also reached high consensus on the establishment of practical measures to minimise misunderstandings and avoid incidents at sea.

Through the statement, the ministers expressed delight at the important achievements reached by five expert working groups (EWGs) in fostering real cooperation among defence forces of ADMM+ member countries, which has been shown through joint humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and rescue, and military medical exercises in Brunei in June this year.

They also agreed to form an expert working group in humanitarian assistance for victims of unexploded ordnance and accelerate the transfer process of EWG co-chairs, it said.

Earlier on the day, ADMM+ participants witnessed Brunei’s hand-over of the ADMM Chairmanship to Mynamar.

The third ADMM+ is scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur in 2015.

First held in Vietnam's capital Hanoi in October 2010, the regional event gathers defence ministers from 18 member states that include the 10 ASEAN nations and Australia, China, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the US.-VNA