Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, Senior Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty, has proposed critical measures to promote the role of the ASEAN armed forces in the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region.

Sharing information and building a joint forces database are crucial for coping with non-traditional security issues such as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security and anti-terrorism, he said at the 12th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM-12) in Kuala Lumpur on February 10.

Simultaneously, it is necessary to promote the efficiency and harmony of existing regional cooperation mechanisms to ensure resource optimisation, said Sen. Lieut. Gen. Ty.

He noted Vietnam’s support for the expansion of the Information Fusion Centre and Regional Humanitarian Assistance Relief Centre models in Changi, Singapore.

He also highlighted the importance of enhancing coordination activities among the armed forces, especially joint drills, while seeking measures to connect resources and strengthen partnerships among ASEAN armies in dealing with non-traditional challenges.

During the ACDFIM-12, participants also discussed defence cooperation programmes and emerging security challenges in the region, including cyber security and maritime security in the East Sea .

They reaffirmed the significance of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea in ensuring maritime security and a stable regional environment.

They also agreed that ASEAN armies will continue working closely, sharing information, and implementing joint training and drill activities.

During the event, the chairmanship of the Military Intelligence Informal Meeting, the ASEAN Military Operational Informal Meeting, and the ACDFIM-13 in 2016 were appointed to Laos.

Concluding the meeting, the ASEAN defence chiefs signed a joint statement.

Speaking with the Kuala Lumpur-based Vietnam News Agency correspondent, Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Bin Mohd Zin said the statement includes a proposal to promote the meeting to a formal ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces Meeting (ACDFM) and to form an ACDFM Plus and an ACDFM Standing Secretariat.

He also expressed his belief that defence ties between Vietnam and Malaysia will progress to a new height with the increased exchanges of trainees between defence training facilities of both nations.

He also lauded Vietnam’s contributions to the success of the ACDFIM-12.-VNA