5th ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting (ADMM)-Plus in Singapore

  • Category
    World Affairs
  • Published
    29th Oct, 2018

Context

  • With the theme ‘Strengthening Cooperation, Building Resilience,’ which resulted in adoption of two resolutions:
    • Countering the Threat of Terrorism.
    • Practical Confidence Building Measures.
  • It was the first annualised meeting of the member countries of ADMM Plus as earlier the member countries used to meet once in two years.

About

Countering Threat of Terrorism

  • The ADMM-Plus Defence Ministers, in the first joint statement on Preventing and Countering the Threat of Terrorism, condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and agreed to strengthen regional counter-terrorism cooperation.
  • This included a sustained and comprehensive approach at both national and international levels, regional cooperation through capacity-building initiatives and the sharing of information, intelligence, experience, best practices, and lessons learned.

Practical Confidence Building Measures

  • With the second joint statement on Practical Confidence-Building Measures, the Ministers welcomed and gave in-principle support for the 12th ADMM's adoption of the world's first multilateral set of Guidelines for Air Military Encounters (GAME).
  • Recognising the utility of such guidelines in enhancing aviation safety in light of increased congestion in the air, the ADMM agreed to explore the collective application of these guidelines by the ADMM-Plus.

India and 5th ADMM Plus

India has been a constant participant of ADMM Plus since its inception. In the 5th ADMM meeting, Indian Defence Minister has reiterated India’s commitment to regional peace, prosperity and enhanced cooperation with other partners of ADMM challenges like terrorism, climate change etc.

Following are some of the takeaways of the India’s stance at ADMM meeting in Singapore.

  • Indian Defence Minister emphasised India’s concern on the grave challenges to international peace and stability due to the threat of terrorism.
  • Condemning the use of terror as an instrument to further state policies, India conveyed that the interplay between states and non-state actors used as proxies to foment violence had worsened this menace.
  • India’s reiterated its view on Indo-Pacific, as an open, balanced region, connected by open and secure seas, integrated by balanced trade and shaped by a rules based order, anchored in ASEAN centrality. India’s commitment to maintain a sustained focus of its ‘Act East’ policy in terms of economic, cultural and developmental engagement of the region is perennial and priority foreign policy agenda of the Indian government.
  • India and Myanmar are the co-chairs for the Expert Working Group of ADMM Plus for Military Medicine for this cycle. Military medicine is one of the seven areas of cooperation under ADMM –Plus.
  • A standalone Field Training Exercise on Military Medicine will be held in Lucknow in March 2019 along with the release of ASEAN Military Medicine Handbook.
       

    Asian Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM)

    • The ASEAN Security Community (ASC) Plan of Action, adopted at the 10th ASEAN Summit, stipulates that ASEAN shall work towards the convening of an annual ADMM.
    • Against this background, the Inaugural meeting of the ADMM was held in Kuala Lumpur on 9 May 2006.
    • The ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN.
    • The ADMM aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness.

    ADMM-Plus:

    • Consistent with the ADMM guiding principles of open and outward looking, the 2ndADMM in Singapore in 2007 adopted the Concept Paper to establish the ADMM-Plus.
    • The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the US) to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region.
    • The Inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Ha Noi, Vietnam, on 12 October 2010.
    • The Defence Ministers then agreed on five areas of practical cooperation to pursue under this new mechanism, namely maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations and military medicine.
    • To facilitate cooperation on these areas, Experts' Working Groups (EWGs) are established.

    Objectives

    The objectives of the ADMM-Plus, as outlined in the ADMM-Plus Concept Paper, adopted by the Second ADMM, Singapore, 13-15 November 2007, are as follows:

    • To benefit ASEAN member countries in building capacity to address shared security challenges, while cognisant of the differing capacities of various ASEAN countries.
    • To promote mutual trust and confidence between defence establishments through greater dialogue and transparency.
    • To enhance regional peace and stability through cooperation in defence and security, in view of the transnational security challenges the region faces.
    • To contribute to the realisation of an ASEAN Security Community which, as stipulated in the Bali Concord II, embodies ASEAN’s aspiration to achieve peace, stability, democracy and prosperity in the region where ASEAN member countries live at peace with one another and with the world at large.
    • To facilitate the implementation of the Vientiane Action Programme and to adopt greater outward-looking external relation strategies with our friends and Dialogue Partners.

    Chair:

    • As stipulated in the Concept Paper on the ADMM-Plus: Modalities and Procedures adopted by the Fourth ADMM, Hanoi,2010, the Chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus shall follow the Chairmanship of the ADMM.

Significance

  • For the first time since 2013, ADMM-Plus meeting has issued joint outcome documents. It is a significant signal of the ADMM-Plus' unity and commitment to regional stability and cooperation.
  • From being held once every three years, the frequency of the ADMM-Plus was increased to once every two years in 2012, and then further increased to an annual meeting last year at the 11th ADMM in Philippines.
  • Practical cooperation on the ADMM-Plus has grown from strength to strength, and currently spans seven areas of counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, military medicine, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian mine action, and cyber security through the Experts' Working Groups.

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