The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is hosting the 12th ASEAN Navy Chiefs' Meeting (ANCM) today at the Marina Mandarin Hotel. The ANCM is an annual meeting among the Navy Chiefs from the 10 ASEAN countries and their representatives to discuss maritime issues and multilateral naval cooperation. The theme for this year's meeting is "ASEAN Navies: Strengthening Cooperation, Building Resilience".
During the meeting, Singapore's Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lew Chuen Hong spoke about the uniqueness of the sea as a shared space that has allowed all to access it, and to trade freely. Referring to the idea that the sea is shared, RADM Lew highlighted, "This fact is rather unique. It doesn't quite exist in the same way on land, or in the air. Like anything that is shared, having rules and norms to guide its use, is critical in keeping our seas safe and secure."
A significant achievement of the meeting was the adoption of a joint statement by ASEAN Navy Chiefs for the first time. The joint statement signals ASEAN navies' willingness to strengthen practical cooperation in maritime security, information-sharing, and practice Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) as a confidence-building measure.
On the sidelines of the 12th ANCM programme, RADM Lew signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Exchange of Information Relating to White Shipping with Myanmar Navy Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Tin Aung San. The MOU strengthens the RSN's Information Fusion Centre's ability to improve shared awareness at sea for our maritime partners.
Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman hosted the ASEAN Navy Chiefs to lunch this afternoon where he iterated the need for continued cooperation among ASEAN navies in order to ensure regional security and progress.