The ninth ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM-9) ended on March 16 with a joint declaration issued by all member nations to reaffirm the ADMM's commitment to work towards the realisation of an ASEAN community, including the ASEAN Political-Security Community.

The defence ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in accordance with both domestic and international law, including the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism, to counter the imminent threat of terrorist/extremist organisations and radical groups through information sharing, increasing surveillance and promoting awareness among the public about the threat of radicalism.

They noted with serious concern the rise of violence and brutality committed by the self-declared Islamic State and other terrorist/extremists organisations and radical groups in Iraq and Syria, and condemned all terrorist acts of destruction and violence as carried out by these and other terrorist/extremist organisations and radical groups, whose impacts increasingly poses a threat to all regions of the world.

They declared to contribute towards the development of the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision and the attendant documents to promote the role of the ADMM and the ADMM-Plus in consolidating the ASEAN Community and maintaining regional peace and stability.

They also declared to adhere to the principles of the UN Charter and urge the no first use of force in dealing with disputes as a measure to prevent conflicts in the region and to promote security and stability.

The ministers agreed to continue enhancing practical cooperation in countering non-traditional and transnational security concerns and developing coordinating mechanisms for military participation as outlined by the ADMM Three-Year Work Programme 2014 to 2016.

They also agreed to strengthen the constructive ties between ASEAN member states and between ASEAN member states and the plus countries to contribute to regional peace and security.

They pledged to support and enhance the activities of practical cooperation among the ASEAN member states under the ADMM initiatives, as well as deepening practical cooperation through the six ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group (EWGs) to strengthen the region’s capacity and effectiveness in addressing common security challenges at a pace comfortable to all while maintaining ASEAN centrality.

The ministers reaffirmed ASEAN member states’ commitment to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), ASEAN’s Six-point Principles on the East Sea, and the Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th anniversary of DOC, and ready for expeditiously working towards an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).-VNA