15th Anniversary of ADMM: Preparing for a Future-Ready, Peaceful and Prosperous ASEAN

15th Anniversary of ADMM: Preparing for a Future-Ready, Peaceful and Prosperous ASEAN



Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen attended the 15th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) held via video conferencing today.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the ADMM. Since its inception in 2006, the ADMM has made significant progress in facilitating defence cooperation and dialogue, and has contributed to the region's peace and security.

During the 15th ADMM, the ADMM Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration in Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the ADMM towards a Future-Ready, Peaceful and Prosperous ASEAN was adopted. The Declaration reaffirmed ASEAN's commitment to tackle prevailing and emerging transboundary security threats in our region, particularly in the maritime security, counter-terrorism, Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR), cybersecurity and information domains. The ADMM also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen regional cooperation for a swift and strong recovery from the COVID-19 situation.

The ADMM approved the establishment of a Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence (COE) in Singapore, which will complement the ASEAN Cyber Defence Network in promoting regional exchanges, interactions and cooperation on cybersecurity matters. The COE will enable information sharing and capacity building among ASEAN defence establishments against cyberattacks, disinformation and misinformation. The ADMM also approved Singapore's proposal to host an ADMM-Plus conference on countering CBR threats in 2022.

The ASEAN-China Defence Ministers' Informal Meeting was conducted on the sidelines of the 15th ADMM. Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe commemorated 30 years of ASEAN-China dialogue relations and reaffirmed China's commitment to strengthening ASEAN-China defence cooperation in areas such as think-tank exchanges, counter-terrorism and humanitarian mine action. ADMM acknowledged the wide-ranging and strong cooperation with China in the political-security, economic and people-to-people relations.

Dr Ng and his counterparts welcomed the assistance and support by China to regional countries to help control and combat COVID-19. They also commended the maritime exercises with the People's Liberation Army Navy which provided opportunities to practise the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea. In spite of COVID-19, the meeting reaffirmed the commitment to resume negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and to work towards an early and expeditious conclusion. Dr Ng expressed strong support for China's continued engagement of ASEAN through the ADMM-Plus, and looked forward to exploring new areas of ASEAN-China defence cooperation.

The 8th ADMM-Plus will take place virtually tomorrow. The ADMM will be joined by Defence Ministers and their representatives from the eight Plus countries, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the US.

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