Taking place since 2004, ASPC has become an annual program of ARF to promote the participation of ARF senior leaders as well as to boost cooperation in building mutual trust in the military field in the framework of ARF.

In addition, the program also aims to create a chance for defense leaders, diplomats, and military experts to discuss and share information and experience, to promote mutual trust and understanding among them, while consolidating and enhancing the roles and the position of ARF.

At the ARF Defense Officials' Dialogue held online on July 1, 2020

As part of ARF, ASPC adheres to principles and procedures. Decisions are made on the basis of consensus, and all member countries have equal rights to take part in the mechanism.

Discussions in the framework of ASPC must be satisfied with basic rules recognized by international law as well as relationships among the participating countries according to the U.N. Charter’s and ARF’s principals, including respect for national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and no interference in each other’s internal affairs.

ASPC’s Agenda is decided via consensus and the conference is hosted by an ASEAN member state. Over the past time, ASPC is step by step shifting from dialogue to cooperation in many specific fields, such as counter-terrorism, combating transnational crime, overcoming disaster consequences, and maritime security.

In an increasingly integrated and interdependent world, peace and the national interests of Vietnam are closely linked to peace, security, and stability in the region and the world. Therefore, Vietnam advocates expanding external defense affairs in both bilateral and multilateral spheres while actively contributing to defense cooperation channels, including ASPC.

This year, the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense will give the highest priority to promoting and enhancing internal solidarity, deepening relations between ASEAN and others partners, and seeking effective cooperation channels for the mutual interest of ASEAN. The success of Vietnam's ASEAN Chairmanship Year is the common success of ASEAN.

Amid the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the 2020 ASEAN Chair, Vietnam has promoted defense cooperation among ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners in the spirit of the ASEAN Year 2020’s theme “Cohesion and proactive adaptation.”

As a result, the country has successfully organized the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM Retreat), the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM), the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus (ADSOM+), and a table-top exercise on COVID-19 response among ASEAN member states’ military medical forces, to name but a few.

Vietnam’s decision to hold the ASPC-17 in the form of a teleconference, shows its strong commitment to effectively promoting defense cooperation in the framework of ARF. The success of the ASPC-17 will contribute to consolidating the position of ARF as a leading official multilateral security and political dialogue forum in the Asia-Pacific region.

Translated by Minh Anh