The ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat held in Laos

17:00 | 03/06/2024

( - On March 5, in Luang Prabang, Laos, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM-Retreat) was organized under the chair of General Chansamone Chanyalath, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence of Laos. Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) and Deputy Minister of National Defence Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Tan Cuong led a Vietnamese delegation to attend the event.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Tan Cuong at the meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, General Chansamone Chanyalath emphasized that in recent years, cooperation within the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) has made significant progress, with the establishment of new cooperative mechanisms and related activities. These are evidence of the commitment of member countries to enhancing stability, unity, and the central role of ASEAN in building a peaceful, stable, secure, and developed ASEAN region in accordance with the ASEAN Vision 2025. However, ASEAN still faces challenges and traditional and non-traditional security threats, especially in the context of complex and unpredictable political and security developments in the region and the world, as competition among major powers increases their influence in the region. Therefore, General Chansamone Chanyalath believes that this meeting is a good opportunity to openly discuss the issues at hand, with a focus on maintaining the unity and solidarity of ASEAN.

In his address, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Tan Cuong described 2024 as a pivotal year to develop a long-term strategy for ASEAN's post-2025 vision, help ASEAN uphold its past achievements; strengthen its solidarity, unity, central role and self-resilience with a common vision and strategic choice, which is cooperation and joint action for peace, stability and security in the region while improving the ability to adapt to new developments in the global and regional landscapes.

At the meeting.

According to him, the expansion of ASEAN's defence relations through the establishment of the ADMM and the deployment of seven ADMM Experts’ Working Groups (EWGs) has also demonstrated that ADMM is an effective mechanism to build trust, facilitate cooperation and dialogue between ASEAN and its partners. The increasing interest from external partners in joining ADMM in various forms reflects the success and attractiveness of this mechanism, he said.

To uphold the ASEAN’s central role and strategic value, and create impetus to propel dialogue processes, build trust for peace, security and stability in the region and the world, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Tan Cuong said cooperation activities within the framework of ADMM and ADMM-Plus need to adhere to the fundamental principles of the ASEAN Charter and ASEAN regulations and processes, respect the independence and self-reliance of ASEAN countries, and make practical and responsible contributions to regional peace, stability and common security. Vietnam supports the continued implementation of the ADMM EWG observership programme and welcomes new participants in order to make practical and effective contributions to peace, cooperation and development in the region, he said, stressing the need to be consistent with ASEAN's stance and principles on international and regional issues that directly affect ASEAN in order to maintain and promote its unity and solidarity.

On the occasion, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Tan Cuong invited defence and military leaders, defence industry enterprises and military music bands of ASEAN countries to the second Vietnam International Defence Expo and the ASEAN military music exchange in Vietnam on the occasion of the 80th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army later this year.

Vietnam consistently advocates for peaceful dialogue and diplomacy in resolving disputes, he said, adding that in the East Sea issue, Vietnam remains committed to upholding international law, adhering to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and hopes to soon conclude a more concrete, effective, and legally binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

All delegates in a joint photo.

Heads of delegations affirmed the need for ASEAN to strengthen its solidarity, maintain its central role, and take the lead in regional cooperation mechanisms to effectively respond to emerging traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as armed conflicts, competition between major powers, cybersecurity, natural disasters, pandemics and climate change.

The meeting continues to reaffirm the commitment to maintain the role of the ADMM and ADMM-Plus as the highest-level defence and military cooperation mechanisms for ASEAN member countries and dialogue partners. It recognizes the contributions of ASEAN’s friends and dialogue partners in promoting regional security and stability. It further strengthens defence and military cooperation through the existing mechanisms of the ADMM and ADMM-Plus, aiming to enhance the capabilities, self-reliance, and interaction among member countries. It takes action towards realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2045, with an increased contribution from the defence channel in promoting regional peace, stability, and security.


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