The 10th edition saw the participation of defense ministers and representatives of militaries of ASEAN member countries and the grouping’s eight partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the U.S.

Defense Minister Phan Van Giang at the 10th ADMM+

Although there were different opinions at the event, all members of ADMM+ agreed to build trust, enhance cooperation, and avoid confrontation. 

Speaking at the meeting, the Vietnamese defense minister suggested countries continue promoting ASEAN’s central role and step up the strategic trust building and consolidation in the spirit of respect for law, mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefits. He called on countries to persistently resolve disputes by peaceful means and through open and substantive dialogue so that the ADMM+ is always a bridge between parties.

General Phan Van Giang speaks at the event.

General Giang hoped for further cohesion between ADMM+ and other cooperation frameworks in the three pillars of the ASEAN Community. He called on members to facilitate the serious and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (South China Sea) (DOC) and early conclusion of an effective and practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) which is in line with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea.

The head of the Vietnamese delegation affirmed that the Vietnamese Defense Ministry is committed to actively and responsibly participating in cooperation initiatives and mechanisms within ADMM+ and other mechanisms within defense and military framework, thus creating a constructive, comprehensive, and effective security architecture. 

An overview of the meeting

The Vietnamese defense minister took the occasion to invite defense leaders, representatives of militaries, defense industry businesses of ASEAN members and partners to attend the second Vietnam International Defense Expo which is slated for December, 2024 on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Vietnam People’s Army.  

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto said that with a spirit of openness and tolerance, ASEAN hoped to work with its partners in resolving emerging security challenges. He added that ADMM+ is a platform to strengthen collaboration for a peaceful and secure environment in the region. 

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto (left) handing over the ADMM and ADMM+ chairmanship to his Lao counterpart Chansamone Chanyalath

The meeting also heard a report on ASEAN cooperation delivered by the grouping’s Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn. Representatives of participating countries also exchanged their views on regional and international security concerns, including the Ukraine, Israel-Hamas, Myanmar, and Korean Peninsula issues. They emphasized the values of peace and stability.

Regarding regional security situation, defense ministers and representatives of militaries highlighted the importance of strict observance of the fundamental principles and objectives stated in the U.N. Charter, the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Bali Process, as well as compliance with international laws and maintenance of peace, prosperity, and security in the region.

Partners also voiced their support for ASEAN’s centrality in regional cooperation mechanisms and laid stress on the importance of maritime security, including in the East Sea, to regional and international security.

Countries emphasized that disputes should be addressed by peaceful means, on the basis of international law, including the UNCLOS 1982. Security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea should be maintained. Countries, including China, expressed the hope for soon completion of an effective and practical COC which is in line with international law.

At the meeting, the list of countries participating in the 2024-2027 ADMM+ Experts Working Group was also announced. The meeting also issued a joint declaration of the ADMM+ on women, peace, and security.

The same day, a handover ceremony for the ADMM and ADMM+ chairmanship was also held. The Lao Ministry of National Defense has officially become the chair for the two meetings in 2024.

Reported by Thu Trang (from Jakarta, Indonesia)

Translated by Tran Hoai