Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen attended the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus held virtually via video conferencing today.
During the meeting, Dr Ng and his counterparts exchanged views on the regional and international security environment. The Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on Promoting a Future-Ready, Peaceful and Prosperous ASEAN was also adopted by the ADMM-Plus in Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the ADMM. The Declaration reaffirmed ADMM-Plus countries' shared commitment to regional peace and stability in view of ongoing security challenges.
Delivering his remarks at the 8th ADMM-Plus, Dr Ng stressed the importance of finding new avenues for strategic dialogue and practical cooperation on the ADMM-Plus to deal with current and new security challenges amid COVID-19. Citing terrorism, cybersecurity, misinformation and disinformation threats, Dr Ng highlighted that the establishment of a Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence in Singapore and the conduct of the ADMM-Plus Chemical, Biological and Radiological conference next year would serve the defence sectoral's need for sound analysis and information sharing.
Speaking after the conduct of the ADMM and ADMM-Plus over the two days, Dr Ng said, "The fact that all 18 countries participate virtually despite the pandemic is a strong reflection of the importance that they accord to ADMM-Plus. It is the de facto security grouping for this region. Dr Ng added that it was important that issues such as the concerns over the tensions in the South China Sea, and over the situation in Myanmar, were discussed. "The fact that these issues were raised shows that the ADMM-Plus continues to be relevant. It was useful that there were a number of points of consensus that are forward-looking, and many Members brought out how this security grouping needed to address the current and future challenges," he said.
The ADMM and ADMM-Plus are key platforms in the regional security architecture to facilitate open and constructive dialogue on regional security issues. Both platforms have contributed to regional peace and stability, through fostering trust and sustained cooperation among all 18 countries.