Joint declaration of ASEAN defense ministers on sustainable security signed in Bangkok
Updated 14:28, 12-Jul-2019

Defense ministers of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) signed the Joint Declaration on Sustainable Security on Thursday to promote cooperation among ASEAN to counter non-traditional, transnational threats. 

In Thursday's press conference, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon announced that the 13th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM), held from Wednesday to Friday, has resulted in the signing of the joint declaration. 

Prawit, who chaired the meeting, confirmed that the ADMM has adopted six concept papers which reflect the development and cooperation in response to key security challenges in the region, such as Concept Paper on the Guidelines for the Assessment of the ADMM Initiatives, Concept Paper on the Role of ASEAN Defense Establishments in Supporting Border Management, Concept Paper on Expansion of the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure in the ADMM Process to the Plus Countries, Terms of Reference of ASEAN Our Eyes, Concept Paper on the Establishment of ASEAN Military Medicine Conference and Guidelines for Maritime Interaction. 

Thai navy frigate HTMS Taksin in the Gulf of Thailand. /CGTN Photo

Thai navy frigate HTMS Taksin in the Gulf of Thailand. /CGTN Photo

According to the joint declaration released by the Thai side on Thursday, the ASEAN defense ministers have declared to intensify their efforts to promote sustainable security cooperation through strengthening capacities and cooperation among ASEAN member states as well as with the plus countries in response to non-traditional and transnational security threats in the region.

Ministers discussed ISIL-linked terror attacks at Surabaya in Indonesia in 2018 and Marawi in the Philippines in 2017.

"This must never happen again to any city within ASEAN," said Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen.

He said ASEAN countries needed to exchange intelligence to track the movement of those suspected of terror links.

"Unfortunately, even as the situation in Syria and Iraq improves, we are expecting more foreign fighters to come this way," he added.

ASEAN nations conduct a joint sea naval exercise. /CGTN Photo

ASEAN nations conduct a joint sea naval exercise. /CGTN Photo

Besides, the ADMM has supported the institutionalization of the ASEAN Center of Military Medicine as a formal ASEAN body and a well-recognized organization at international level.

The meeting has also emphasized the commitment of all parties to work together in a constructive and peaceful manner for the South China Sea to become a sea of peace, stability and prosperity through the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the early conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea on a mutually-agreed timeline. The ASEAN was established in 1967, which groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

(CGTN's Martin Lowe contributed to this report.)

(Cover: 34th ASEAN Summit plenary session in Bangkok, Thailand, June 22, 2019. /Reuters Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency