Bandar Seri Begawan - The Asean Defence Senior Officials Meeting Plus Working Group Meeting (ADSOM-Plus WG) was yesterday held at the Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong, chaired by Haji Adi Ihram Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud, the Acting Director of Defence Policy, Directorate of Defence Policy, Ministry of Defence.
The ADSOM-Plus WG meeting was attended by over 60 participants from Asean member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam; as well as the 'Plus' countries, namely, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.
During the meeting, the ADSOM-Plus WG was updated on the key progress in the five areas of cooperation under the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Experts' Working Group (EWG), which are the EWG on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (Co-Chaired by Vietnam and China), EWG on Maritime Security (Co-Chaired by Malaysia and Australia), EWG on Military Medicine (Co-Chaired by Singapore and Japan), EWG on Counter-Terrorism (Co-Chaired by Indonesia and the United States) and EWG on Peacekeeping Operations (co-chaired by the Philippines and New Zealand).
The meeting was also updated on the current progress in the preparation towards the ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (ADMM-Plus HADR and MM Ex) which will be held in Brunei from June 16 to 20.
The ADMM-Plus HADR and MM Ex will be the first exercise under the ADMM-Plus mechanism that will represent a concrete demonstration of practical cooperation. The exercise is scheduled to be held back-to-back with the 2nd Asean Militaries' Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise (2nd AHX).
Both exercises are the major deliverables during Brunei Darussalam's ADMM and ADMM-Plus Chairmanship this year.
The ADMM, which was established in 2006, is the highest defence mechanism within Asean. The annual ADMM allows Asean defence ministers to discuss and exchange views on current defence and security issues and challenges faced in the region. The ADMM aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness.
Some of the outstanding achievements of the ADMM include the adoption of concept papers to advance cooperation in the areas of HADR, specifically the Concept Paper on the Use of Asean Military Assets and Capacities in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and the Concept Paper on Defence Establishments and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Cooperation on Non-Traditional Security.
The ADMM has also conducted a Table-Top Exercise in HADR under the framework of the third workshop of the Asean Defence Establishments and CSOs Cooperation in Non-Traditional Security, hosted by Thailand in 2011.
In the effort to strengthen regional defence and security cooperation, the 5th ADMM adopted the Concept Paper on the Establishment of Asean Defence Industry Collaboration (ADIC) and the Concept Paper on the Establishment of Asean Peacekeeping Centres Network.
The ADMM-Plus is a wider mechanism to engage with Asean Dialogue Partners in cooperation on defence and security matters. The inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 12, 2010.
Some of the most outstanding progress of the ADMM-Plus has included the establishment of the Experts' Working Group (EWG) in five areas of practical cooperation, namely the EWG on Maritime Security, EWG on Counter-Terrorism, EWG on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, EWG on Peacekeeping Operations and EWG on Military Medicine.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin