Vietnam attends 15th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting hinh anh 1Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Phan Van Giang (middle) at the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A Vietnamese delegation led by Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Phan Van Giang attended the 15th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) which was held via videoconference on June 15.

Speaking at the event, Giang expressed his support for Singapore’s proposal to continue holding the ADMM Plus, which was launched in 2010 when Vietnam served as ASEAN Chair.

He said the mechanism helped enhance the sharing of opinions on defence and security strategies amid regional and global uncertainties, as well as reflected the commitment to promoting practical cooperation between armies of the regional nations and eight dialogue partners for the sake of peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Chaired by Second Defence Minister of Brunei Maj. Gen. Pehin Datu Lailaraja Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Md Yussof, the meeting reached consensus on preparations for the 8th ADMM Plus and approved the organisation of informal meetings between ASEAN defence ministers and counterparts from dialogue partners this year.

Participants adopted the Bander Seri Begawan Joint Declaration marking the 15th anniversary of the ADMM towards building a bloc of peace and prosperity. It highlighted parties’ commitment to forging peaceful and constructive cooperation to turn the East Sea into a water of peace, stability and prosperity via full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards soon reaching a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Parties concerned also pledged to promote maritime security, safety and freedom to peacefully settle disputes in the East Sea.

In the declaration, ASEAN member states vowed to promote joint work to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic as instructed in the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and ASEAN defence ministers’ joint statement on collective response to the outbreak of the pandemic, including holding dialogues to share the best practices and lessons, seeking new forms of cooperation, including inter-pillar and inter-sectoral coordination, supporting ASEAN’s readiness to overcome public medical emergencies, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, via the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine and the Network of ASEAN Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defence Experts.

Ministers also highlighted the need to maintain and promote peace, security, stability, maritime and aviation safety and freedom. They welcomed initiatives to build trust such as the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), the Guidelines for Air Military Encounters (GAME), the ASEAN Direct Communications (ADI) and other activities within the framework of the DOC in order to enhance communications, foster mutual trust as well as mitigate tensions and risks of accidents, misunderstanding and miscalculations both in the air and at sea./.