Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh led the Vietnamese delegation to attend the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus 2015 (ADSOM-Plus) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on February 14.
Besides defence officials from the ten ASEAN countries, the event also gathered delegates from the ASEAN Secretariat and the bloc’s partners of Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the US.
Delegates heard reports of the ASEAN Secretariat on the recent developments of ASEAN, the results of the ADSOM-Plus Working Group held in Malaysia’s Johor state on January 24, and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Defence Officials’ Dialogue in Malacca from November 30-December 1, 2014.
They discussed the joint statement of the third ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), and regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Defence Minister Vinh highlighted the importance of the ADMM-Plus cooperation mechanism at a time when ASEAN is preparing to form the ASEAN Community at the end of this year, and when more and more traditional and nontraditional security challenges are emerging, requires concerted efforts of many countries to deal with them.
He suggested ADMM-Plus members intensify result-oriented cooperation and show their consensus, sincerity and the sense of of responsibility to ensure peace and stability in Asia-Pacific and the world at large in the interests of each country.
He informed the meeting that Vietnam has sent its liaison officers to participate in UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan and will dispatch staff personnel to the Central African Republic. The country is also preparing to set up a field military hospital and assign sappers to join in the UN peacekeeping forces.
The joint Vietnam-India expert group has launched the Humanitarian Mine Action Initiative proposed by Vietnam and the two countries will hold a joint drill in demining activities, he added.
During the event, delegates also exchanged opinions on the settlement of recent disputes.
The head of the Chinese delegation said China hopes regional countries abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work towards a Code of Conduct on the East Sea (COC).
Japanese Deputy Minister of Defence Hideshi Tokuchi proposed setting up a hotline with China to deal with maritime disputes.
The Indonesian delegation head Lieutenant General Yoedhi Swastanto called on regional nations to strictly follow the DOC, set up hotlines to directly deal with disputes, and work together towards the formation of the COC.
The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia, Amy Searight expressed concern about some law violations at sea in the region recently and affirmed support of the settlement of disputes through dialogue. The representative also called on all countries with interests in the East Sea to behave in accordance to international law, the DOC and work towards the COC.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh had a bilateral meeting with the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Amy Searight, during which both sides proposed and discussed directions for future cooperation.