The Vietnamese high-ranking defense delegation to the event was led by Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich.

Vietnamese Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich (left) at the ADMM Retreat

Addressing the meeting, General Prawit Wongsuwan held that the cooperation within the ADMM witnessed remarkable developments over the past time, including the establishment of new cooperative mechanisms and various relevant activities. These results fulfilled ASEAN member countries’ commitments to improve solidarity within the block, contributing to building a region of peace, stability and security in accordance with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. However, he noted that the bloc still has to cope with traditional and non-traditional security threats that no single country can address by its own.

During the meeting, ASEAN defense ministers exchanged viewpoints on international and regional security matters of mutual concern. They underlined that the organization should maintain its unity and promote its central role in regulating the regional cooperation mechanisms to promptly respond to emerging issues such as terrorism or cyber security. In addition, they all showed deep concerns about maritime security challenges and laid stress on the importance of maintaining peace and stability at sea, especially in the East Sea.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich agreed with ASEAN head delegates’ viewpoints, particularly in solving traditional and non-traditional security challenges by the block’s joint efforts in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

He highlighted several matters that the region is facing, such as strategic competitiveness between major powers and its impacts on the regional countries. He urged the ASEAN members to actively promote intra-bloc solidarity and to expand relations with other nations and regions worldwide.

The Vietnamese Defense Minister held that international law, which regulates relations among countries to maintain peace and stability in the region and the world, should be strictly observed.

Scene of the meeting

Regarding the recent tensions in the East Sea, General Lich held that the prerequisite to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the region is to maintain an order under which behaviors of each country and relations must comply with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

With the role of the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam hopes to bolster intra-bloc connectivity and improve the effectiveness of the current defense cooperation mechanisms, he added.

Reported by Thu Trang (from Bangkok, Thailand)

Translated by Trung Thanh