The second Expert’s Working Group (EWG) meeting of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM+) opened in Hanoi on August 8 on the theme of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).

The meeting, co-chaired by Vietnam and China , was attended by officials of 18 ADMM-Plus member countries as well as representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat

Speaking at the event, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, said that Vietnam attaches great importance to the meeting, which not only handles issues related to HADR, but also reflects the desire for and spirit of cooperation of all member countries in maintaining peace, development and stability. It also proves the increasingly essential role of the ADMM-Plus structure in defence cooperation among the 18 countries.

Discussions at the meeting focused on legal aspects of the use of military in regional and international HADR activities, the training of personnel engaging in HADR, cooperation initiatives among ADMM-Plus, and experiences of armed forces in coping with such natural disasters as storms, floods and landslides.

Vietnam proposed the organising of joint training courses, and forming a coordination agency for HADR activities among ADMM-Plus member countries.

The meeting will run until August 10.-VNA