Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Perry Lim chaired the 15th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces' Informal Meeting (ACDFIM) today, attended by the ten ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces (CDFs) in Singapore.
The theme for this year's ACDFIM is "Strengthening Collaboration, Building Resilience". The CDFs noted the directions set by the ASEAN defence ministers at the ADMM Retreat in February 2018 and discussed ways to build capacity and strengthen practical cooperation. In particular, the CDFs spoke about enhancing regional counter-terrorism cooperation among the countries, improving ASEAN's collective capability to respond to chemical, biological, and radiological threats from terrorist groups and rogue states, and developing a Code for Unplanned Encounters in the maritime and air domains. LG Lim also highlighted the "Resilience, Response, and Recovery" framework to guide regional counter-terrorism efforts, serve to prevent terrorist attacks, coordinate ASEAN's responses to address ongoing threats, and recover from any terrorist attacks.
The ASEAN CDFs also signed a Joint Statement to reaffirm the ASEAN militaries' commitment and collective responsibility in addressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges to the region. On counter-terrorism efforts, the Joint Statement emphasised cooperation among ASEAN militaries and their external partners to contribute to global and regional peace, security and stability. In addition, the Joint Statement noted that the ACDFIM adopted the recommendations of the 15th ASEAN Military Intelligence Informal Meeting and the eighth ASEAN Military Operations Informal Meeting , which were held during the lead-up of the ACDFIM.
As part of the ACDFIM, the CDFs were also hosted to a breakfast by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, where they discussed regional security issues and the ASEAN militaries' agenda for the year ahead.
The ACDFIM was first held in 2001 to facilitate informal dialogue among ASEAN militaries. The meeting is an important avenue for ASEAN militaries to build mutual trust and capacity, as well as strengthen practical cooperation.