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Dec 10, 2020 / 15:09

Guest of the Chair: first-ever defence diplomacy for ASEAN

The partnership is believed to be essential for the region amid uncertainties in the global security.

“Guests of the Chair”, a defence program boosting cooperation between ASEAN and its partners, is the first of its kind in the defence diplomacy of the 10-member bloc under the Vietnam chairmanship.

 Vietnam’s Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (central) at the meeting. Photo: Hieu Toan 

The Guests of the Chair meeting, held via video conference on December 9 under the chair by Vietnam’s Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich, marked the participation of defence representatives of the European Union, the United Nations, Germany, the UK, Canada, and France.

The event, which is within the 14th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+), provides a chance for other countries to have further understanding of ASEAN member states for cooperation in the future.

Mr. Lich highlighted the need of more open security structure for ASEAN amid complicated challenges and uncertainties that are out of control of a single country in the region.

He mentioned both traditional and non-traditional security challenges in the Asia-Pacific which is essential in the world’s politics and economics.

 Participants at the ADMM+. Photo: Tuoitre

ADMM is open, flexible, and welcoming in partnership, mostly with dialogue partners, Mr. Lich noted.

At the meeting, Canada’s Minister of National Defense Harjit S. Sajjan said Canada maintains its defence policy that is strong, secure, engaged with the acknowledgment of the importance of the region to Canada’s security and prosperity.

Minister Sajjan emphasized the important role that ASEAN holds in upholding the rules-based international system and its central role in preserving Indo-Pacific stability, notably the significance of dialogue and cooperation.

He said Canada has accomplished a great deal with ASEAN and its Member States through 40 years of meaningful cooperation. “As Pacific nations, there is so much that unites us – from supporting the rules-based international system, to multilateralism and cooperation,” he noted.

Currently, the ADMM+ cooperation covers seven fields namely disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, marine security, anti-terrorism, peace keeping, humanitarian mine action and cybersecurity.