Asean defence ministers meet in person after two years of virtual meetings

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SINGAPORE - The 16th edition of the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) was held at Cambodian capital Phnom Penh in person on Wednesday (June 22), after two years of virtual meetings prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Defence ministers adopted the joint declaration on defence cooperation to strengthen solidarity for harmonised security, said the Ministry of Defence in a statement on Wednesday.

"The declaration reaffirmed the countries' commitment to enhance strategic dialogue and practical defence cooperation through the ADMM and ADMM-Plus as the region's key security architecture, and highlighted the importance of Asean centrality and the need to uphold a rules-based order anchored in international law."

The ADMM-Plus is a dialogue that involves Asean and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, as well as the United States.

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen said discussions at the ADMM were productive and covered a range of current security issues, including on threats in the cyber and information domain.

The meeting also adopted the terms of reference of the ADMM Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence (ACICE), which spells out the scope of its activities.

Located in Singapore, the ACICE was established last year to share information and build capacity against threats in the cyber and information domains.

Dr Ng added that the ADMM had issued a substantive joint declaration, which urged the early conclusion of a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

He also emphasised Asean's efforts to bring about a peaceful transition to normalcy in Myanmar through implementing the five-pointconsensus of the Aseanleaders' meeting in April 2021.

The 16th ADMM also adopted the Phnom Penh vision on the role of defence establishments in support of Covid-19 recovery, co-sponsored by Cambodia and Singapore, said Mindef.

"The vision recognises the ADMM's contributions to national Covid-19 efforts, including through the network of Asean chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) defence experts and the Asean Centre of Military Medicine.

"It pledges to continue coope...

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