ASEAN Defence SOM Working Group meeting opens

Thursday, 2020-01-09 15:34:32
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Delegates join a group photo at the event in Da Nang on January 9. (Photo:
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NDO/VNA – A meeting of the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials' Meeting Working Group (ADSOM WG) opened in the central city of Da Nang on January 9, with over 80 delegates from policymaking units of 10 ASEAN countries’ defence ministries and ASEAN Secretariat taking part.

It is the first meeting in a series of military-defence activities since Vietnam assumed the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship earlier this year.

The ADSOM WG meeting aims to fine-tune the contents and make preparations for the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM), the 14th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), and the seventh ADMM Plus.

Participants will update the ASEAN defence cooperation process, review new initiatives and three-year action plan for the ADMM and build documents for ADMM 14 and ADMM Plus.

Military-defence activities during Vietnam’s ASEAN chairmanship year are expected to promote regional peace and stability via dialogues and defence-security collaboration, guide approaches to dialogues and national defence-security coordination among the ASEAN member states and between ASEAN and partner countries, foster mutual trust via deeper understanding about defence challenges, and improve transparency and openness among the countries.

Director of the Defence Ministry’s Foreign Relations Department Lieut. Gen. Vu Chien Thang, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the ADSOM WG meeting, said Vietnam will table documents to be submitted to the upcoming ADMMs.

The country suggests placing the ASEAN flag next to those of countries joining the United Nations peacekeeping mission, he said. If approved, the ASEAN flag will sit next to Vietnam’s flag at the second Level-2 field hospital in South Sudan.

Earlier on January 8, the Vietnamese delegation met bilaterally with those of ASEAN member countries to the ADSOM WG meeting.