Through the 15th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and the 8th ASEAN Plus Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus) from June 15-16, an agreement was reached to adopt a number of conceptual documents related to strengthening cooperation.
Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said the Kingdom will include a number of strategic perspectives when hosting the events in 2022.
Tea Banh led the Cambodian delegation to attend the virtual meetings at the invitation of the Minister of Defence of Brunei Darussalam, this year’s host for the meetings.
According to a press release issued by the Cambodian defence ministry on June 16, at the 15th ADMM, the ASEAN defence ministers approved a total of nine concept, discussion and standard operating rules documents.
Among them, four conceptual documents were adopted focusing on improving the telecommunications infrastructure in ASEAN, strengthening ASEAN links with external partners, increasing cooperation in the field of information security and establishing an information technology centre for the ASEAN defence sector.
The ASEAN defence ministers also adopted the Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration on the 15th Anniversary of the ADMM, which aims to increase readiness for a future of peace and prosperity in ASEAN with a focus on strengthening ASEAN and enhancing defence operations among ASEAN member states.
Tea Banh praised the efforts of the ASEAN defence ministers and their working group to overcome all obstacles to achieve consensus on all documents.
“As Cambodia hosts the 2022 ADMM, we will include a number of strategic perspectives, including strengthening the role of the armies of ASEAN member states in responding to cross-border disease outbreaks and strengthening mechanisms to support ASEAN women in peacekeeping operations,” he said.
The meeting also approved the principles of the annual ADMM-Plus and the ASEAN-Australia Informal Meeting of Defence Ministers and the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Informal Meeting from November 2021.
At the 8th ADMM-Plus, the ASEAN defence ministers exchanged views on the regional and international security environment in line with each country’s priorities, such as the Indo-Pacific issue, the South China Sea disputes, the situation in Myanmar, terrorism, the Korean Peninsula, climate change and regional rivalries.
Tea Banh shared his views throughout the meeting, highlighting a number of security issues such as the fight against Covid-19, terrorism, and especially the value of Cambodia’s win-win policy to end the civil war and bring full unity in the country – a topic of particular relevance this year given the conflict occurring in Myanmar.
“Cambodia supports the peacekeeping sector within the UN framework, to which it has been actively involved since 2006. Cambodia has also committed to promoting greater women’s participation in peacekeeping operations,” he said.
According to a press release from the ASEAN-China Informal Meeting of Defence Ministers, the Chinese defence minister and his ASEAN counterparts praised the achievements and successes of ASEAN-China cooperation over the past three decades.
The meeting also reviewed proposals for national defence cooperation on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN-China Dialogue.