Brunei: Defense Ministers End ADMM-Plus by Signing Joint Declaration

first_img View post tag: Declaration Back to overview,Home naval-today Brunei: Defense Ministers End ADMM-Plus by Signing Joint Declaration Eighteen defense ministers from nations throughout the Asia-Pacific region sat together after their meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei on August 29, each in turn signing a joint declaration that reaffirms their commitment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and to working together peacefully and cooperatively for a better future.U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was among them, having traveled there as part of an Asian trip — his second in three months — that also includes stops in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.On August 28th, Hagel attended a meeting of defense ministers from the 10 ASEAN member states of Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.He also attended the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus, made up of the 10 ASEAN defense ministers and eight dialogue partners: defense ministers from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia.This year, Russia’s deputy defense minister, Anatoly Antonov, participated in the ADMM-Plus meeting.“I see this second ministerial of the ADMM-Plus as a landmark event,” Hagel said in remarks prepared for delivery during the meeting.“In 2010, when then-Secretary [Robert M.] Gates joined you, our countries committed to making the ADMM-Plus action-oriented,” Hagel said. “Under ASEAN leadership, we are well on our way, with three multinational field exercises this year -– a major accomplishment. I am proud that the United States has been a partner and participant all along the way.”After the signing of the Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration, Mohammad Yasmin Bin Umar, chairman of this second meeting of the ADMM-Plus, discussed key outcomes. He said the group was pleased with its substantial achievement this year, especially the five ADMM-Plus expert working groups that have forged political cooperation among defense forces. “This is evident with the first-of-its-kind ADMM-Plus humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and military medicine exercise held in Brunei Darussalam last June,” he said. An upcoming exercise will be held on maritime security, counterterrorism and peacekeeping operations, he added, and the group decided last year that ADMM-Plus would begin meeting every two years rather than every three years.Yasmin said the group reaffirmed the principle of ASEAN centrality, where ASEAN is the primary driving force in the ADMM-Plus processes.The group recommitted to strengthen defense cooperation in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, he added, based on the enduring principle of equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, and respect for international law. “In doing so,” Yasmin said, “we agreed to promote capacity building through greater engagement and interaction, enhance interoperability through training and joint exercises, and establish mechanisms for effective response.”He said the defense ministers also agreed to establish practical measures for reducing vulnerability to miscalculation and avoid misunderstanding and undesirable incidents at sea. “We also agreed on the establishment of the ADMM-Plus Expert Working Group on Humanitarian Mine Action and on the transition process of the ADMM-Plus Expert Working Group on Co-chairmanship,” Yasmin said. “Our senior official will develop a work plan and key milestones for the next cycle that begins in April 2014.”A new ADMM-Plus initiative will promote capacity building through a humanitarian aid/disaster relief tabletop exercise and mine action workshop, he said. And the group will reaffirm the direction of the ASEAN leader during the association’s summit in May to promote synergy among regional mechanisms, including those of ADMM-Plus and the ASEAN Regional Forum.The group also extensively discussed international and regional security and defense issues, and plans to meet again in Malaysia in 2015, he said.In his remarks, Hagel said the ADMM-Plus is setting the right example with coordinated approaches to transnational and nontraditional threats. “Pirates and terrorists, proliferators, diseases, natural disasters, and cyber criminals are not contained by national borders, and they will jeopardize all of our futures if we fail to act together,” the secretary said.“Working together develops regional capacity and the habits of cooperation we need to solve today’s complex problems,” he said. “Exercising together builds trust and understanding, and reduces the risk of conflict when disputes arise.”“Australia sees our current and future strategic interests overwhelmingly positioned in this part of the world, the Indo Pacific,” Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith stated.“Australia has a long standing record of active participation in and support for multilateral security frameworks such as the ADMM-Plus.“I welcome Indonesia’s plans to host a counter terrorism exercise next month and look forward to Australia hosting the inaugural maritime security exercise in October.The ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups have added focus to this enhanced practical cooperation”, he added.Australia and Malaysia will host the inaugural ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise from 29 September to 1 October in the vicinity of Jervis Bay and the East Australian Exercise Area. Fourteen of the ADMM-Plus member countries will participate in this exercise, with 12 members contributing ships.Malaysia has worked tirelessly to drive the agenda of this Working Group and maintain the momentum for practical cooperation on maritime security issues, Minister Smith stated.“Our region is host to some of the world’s busiest and most strategic trade routes in the world.Nine of Australia’s top ten trading partners sit around this table – our national prosperity therefore depends on the security and stability of the oceans, seas and straits of this region. For all countries in our region, national security is closely linked to maritime security. Ultimately we all rely on maritime trade for our national well-being and the collective stability of our region.” Maintaining stability in the South and East China Seas is essential to ensuring continued prosperity for all countries who rely on trade through this region.We welcome the recent announcement of senior officials’ consultations between ASEAN and China, and continue to encourage the commencement of negotiations on a substantive Code of Conduct as soon as possible.”Speaking about the Korean Peninsula Minister Smith said that North Korea’s nuclear and long range missile programs present a real and credible threat to the security of our region.“Stability on the Korean Peninsula is a strategic concern for our region. Australia will continue to work closely with our friends and partners for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula in the face of grave provocation from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”“One of the most encouraging developments in the region, from Australia’s perspective, is the continuing process of political reform in Myanmar.Myanmar has made remarkable progress in initiating and driving this reform process since civilian government was established in 2011. In March this year Australia announced that we would enhance our defence relationship with Myanmar.”[mappress]Press Release, September 3, 2013; Image: US DOD September 3, 2013 View post tag: ADMM-Plus View post tag: Ministers View post tag: Naval Brunei: Defense Ministers End ADMM-Plus by Signing Joint Declaration Authorities View post tag: Defense View post tag: Navy View post tag: Brunei View post tag: Joint View post tag: end View post tag: Defence View post tag: News by topic Share this articlelast_img read more