Vietnam calls for stronger ASEAN defence cooperation at regional meeting ADMM-Retreat

Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) and Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Tan Cuong led a Vietnamese delegation to the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM-Retreat) held in the northern Lao city of Luang Prabang on March 5.
Vietnam calls for stronger ASEAN defence cooperation at regional meeting ADMM-Retreat
Vietnam calls for stronger ASEAN defence cooperation at regional meeting ADMM-Retreat: Heads of delegations at ADMM Retreat (Photo: VNA)

In his address, Deputy Minister 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.

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, he said cooperation activities within the framework of ADMM and ADMM 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, 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 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).

Heads of delegations all 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.

They further committed to maintaining the role of ADMM and ADMM as the highest-level ministerial defence and military cooperation mechanisms for ASEAN member states and partner countries.

The meeting also adopted a Joint Statement on ADMM’s achievements in service of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025.

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(Source: VNA)