The 2015 Pacific Area Security Sector Working Group (PASSWG-2015) inaugurated its working session in Da Nang City on May 25 under the theme “Security for a people-centred ASEAN”.

The PASSWG is organised annually by the US Government together with countries in the Pacific region. This year’s event is being organised by the Foreign Relations Department of the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence and the Special Operations Command of the US Pacific Command.

Participants comprised 90 delegates from the 10 ASEAN member states, the ASEAN Secretariat, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Mongolia.

Speaking at the opening session, Major General Do Thanh Binh, Commander of the Commando under the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA), said the army was actively engaged in defence cooperation and had proposed a number of cooperation initiatives within the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting and the ASEAN-Plus Defence Ministers Meeting.

Vietnam has a comprehensive counter-terrorism policy and actively participates in humanitarian and disaster relief, as well as maritime security and safety, he added.

With regard to “hot spots” in the region where conflicts could break out, Vietnam supports the settlement of disputes through peaceful dialogues and negotiations in line with international law, United Nations conventions and regional agreements, Binh elaborated, thus rejecting the use of coercion or actions that could escalate tensions.

During the working group meeting, delegates discussed measures to foster cooperation in response to non-traditional security threats in order to maintain regional and global peace, stability and development. They focused on humanitarian aid and disaster relief, maritime security and terrorism prevention.

The PASSWG-2015 ends on May 29.-VNA