The fifth ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM-5) ended in Jakarta on May 19.

The meeting issued a joint declaration calling for increased security-national defence cooperation among ASEAN members to ensure and boost regional peace and stability, advancing towards an ASEAN Community by 2015, with one of the most three important pillars being security-political community.
The declaration affirmed freedom of navigation in the East Sea in accordance with international laws, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

It also reiterated ASEAN Member States’ commitment to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea , looking towards the approval of the Code of Conduct to further promote peace and stability in the region.

The ministers agreed to establish a joint committee to coordinate the use of ASEAN military assets for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. They agreed with three proposals on the ADMM working plan between 2011-2013, the establishment of an ASEAN peacekeeping centre network and a mechanism for ASEAN Defence Industry Collaboration.

Addressing the closing ceremony, Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro affirmed the importance of increasing ADMM role in ASEAN, saying that ADMM is also a forum to boost bilateral cooperation.

The positive development of the forum has improved the transparency, mutual trust and respect among ASEAN members, which is considered as an important premise for increased ASEAN defence cooperation in the future.

Minister Yusgiantoro added that ASEAN should maintain its centrality in developing the ADMM Plus forum with such partners as the US, Russia, India, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia to strengthen cooperation, ensure regional security and stability and affirm the effectiveness of joint actions in the fight against piracy, smuggling and terrorism in order to consolidate international community’s trust in ASEAN.

He also stressed the necessity of increasing practical cooperation among ASEAN member states to cope with non-traditional security issues and conflicts in the region.

Apart from bilateral talks between Thailand and Cambodia ’s Defence Ministers, and the tripartite meeting between Indonesia , Thailand and Cambodia Defence Ministers on Thailand-Cambodia border dispute, ADMM-5 also discussed the issue, agreed that solutions needed to be implemented via peaceful negotiation./.