The meeting, with the participation of ASEAN’s defense ministers and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi, was chaired by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Tea Banh.

ASEAN’s defense ministers and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi at the event 

Delivering an opening speech at the meeting, General Tea Banh held that the cooperation within the framework of ADMM has reached numerous improvements over the past years, especially the establishment of new cooperative mechanisms and other relevant activities.

That has proven the commitments of member countries in promoting the stability, solidarity and central role of ASEAN in building a region of peace, stability, security and development following the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, he added. The Cambodian official went on to say that ASEAN is facing many challenges and non-traditional and traditional security threats, which could not be solved by any single country.

At the meeting, defense ministers and leaders of ASEAN countries discussed their viewpoints on international and regional security. Head delegates agreed that ASEAN should maintain solidarity and its central and leading role in regional cooperation mechanisms to respond to non-traditional and traditional security threats such as armed conflicts, competition among major powers, natural disasters, epidemics, climate change, and so on. Additionally, they exchanged views on maritime security matters, and at the same time stressed on the importance of maintaining peace, stability in the East Sea (South China Sea internationally) to the regional and global security.

Addressing the meeting, General Phan Van Giang shared the same views with head delegates of ASEAN members, and stressed several issues that the region is facing, such as rapid and complicated developments of the political situation in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, the fierce rivalry among major powers in all aspects. Regarding defense-security, the rivalry of strategic interests among major powers has posed both opportunities and challenges to ASEAN, he added.

Defense Minister Phan Van Giang at ADMM Retreat

The Vietnamese defense minister affirmed that ASEAN has maintained internal consensus and solidarity when deploying cooperation programs with partners, ensuring the effectiveness of mechanisms led by the bloc.

Talking about the theme of “Defense Cooperation for Harmonious Security” of ADMM and ADMM Plus this year, General Phan Van Giang held that the harmony means a balanced approach, which helps ensure the interests of each ASEAN member, the common interests of the entire ASEAN Community, and the attention of other partners, contributing to promoting oriented initiatives to contribute to peace, stability, cooperation, development and prosperity in the region.

On that basis, Minister Phan Van Giang stressed two major issues. Firstly, he stated that the maintenance of peace, security, and stability in the region, including the East Sea, is the shared interest and concern of ASEAN members. The region needs to be consistent on its principled stance on the East Sea issue, promoting the full and effective implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon completing the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), as well as addressing issues in the spirit of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development; in compliance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

In addition, the bloc needs a harmonious approach to expand external relations with other partners outside of the region. Several countries and international organizations, which are ASEAN partners currently, are keen on deeper participation in ADMM+. That displays the attraction of the ASEAN’s cooperation mechanisms, he stated.

On the occasion, Minister Phan Van Giang expressed his gratitude for the attention and support of the leaders of the defense ministries, armed forces, and defense industry enterprises of ASEAN countries and partners and other countries worldwide for the Vietnam International Defense Expo 2022 held by the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense slated for December this year.

* Earlier, before attending the ADMM Retreat, Minister Phan Van Giang had a bilateral talk with Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Chansamone Chanyalath.

At the talk, the two defense leaders discussed international and regional issues of mutual concern, reviewed the defense cooperation between the two countries over the past time and proposed orientations to enhance ties in the time to come.

Minister Phan Van Giang and Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Chansamone Chanyalath

Minister Phan Van Giang, on behalf of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense, cordially invited Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Chansamone Chanyalath to pay an official visit to Vietnam and attend the first international defense expo held in Vietnam in upcoming December.

Translated by Trung Thanh