An overview of the meeting

This year’s meeting was themed “The roles of ASEAN navies in addressing maritime challenges.”

In his opening remarks, Admiral Yudo Margono, Chief of the Indonesian Navy, emphasized that Southeast Asia has been a strategic region having sea lanes important to global trade for centuries now. Therefore, the assurance of maritime safety and security in the region is for the sake of not only each ASEAN member state, but also the life and prosperity of many countries in the world.

ASEAN naval chiefs in a joint photo

The chief of the Indonesian Navy said that ASEAN navies hold a vital role in maintaining order at sea. That is the nature of ASEAN navies’ duties, and ASEAN navies are importantly responsible for ensuring safety and security of sea lanes.

The Indonesian official said that the offline organization of ANCM-16 right after the COVID-19 pandemic has been put under control and the participation of all chiefs of navy of ASEAN member states and a representative of the Lao People’s Armed Forces demonstrated the efforts and responsibility of the host navy and confirmed the willingness to boost direct interactions and contacts among ASEAN navy chiefs and to meet the needs of a practical and effective cooperation after a hiatus due to the pandemic.

Chief of the Vietnamese Navy delivers a speech.

Addressing the event, Rear Admiral Tran Thanh Nghiem highly appreciated the host navy-chosen theme for the meeting. He said that to take effective response to maritime challenges, ASEAN navies should raise comprehensive, full, and deep awareness of threats on maritime security, take responsibility, make strong commitments, consolidate trust, promote a closer and more effective coordination to ensure a maritime environment of peace, stability in the region.

He also suggested that they should be consistent with the principle of settling disputes and disagreements by peaceful means on the basis of respecting each country’s independence, sovereignty, and legitimate interests, complying with international laws, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, seriously implementing the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (South China Sea), towards the building of an effective, substantial and more legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

At the meeting between Chief of the Vietnamese Navy and his Indonesian counterpart

The Vietnamese official also suggested the enhancement of solidarity, unity among ASEAN member states, the consolidation and promotion of ASEAN’s centrality in maritime security cooperation mechanism to ensure that ASEAN plays a more active role in shaping the region’s future.

On the occasion, the Chief of the Vietnamese Navy had bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Myanmar, Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Translated by Mai Huong