Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne has travelled to Singapore to participate in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).
The ADMM is the highest defence consultative and co-operative 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.
Minister Pyne said he will join defence ministers from across south-east Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific to discuss multilateral defence co-operation and regional security developments.
"The ADMM-Plus has made strong progress towards fostering practical military co-operation and confidence building measures," Minister Pyne said.
The objectives of the ADMM, as outlined in the Concept Paper for the Establishment of an ADMM endorsed at the inaugural ADMM in Kuala Lumpur on 9 May 2006, include:
- To promote regional peace and stability through dialogue and cooperation in defence and security;
- To give guidance to existing senior defence and military officials dialogue and co-operation in the field of defence and security within ASEAN and between ASEAN and dialogue partners;
- To promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness;
- To facilitate the implementation of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP), which calls for ASEAN to build a peaceful, secure and prosperous ASEAN, and to adopt greater outward-looking external relation strategies with friends and dialogue partners; and
- To contribute to the establishment of an ASEAN Security Community (ASC) as stipulated in the Bali Concord II and to promote the implementation of the VAP on ASC.
"Australia will continue its long and proud history of contributing to the ADMM-Plus, including as co-chair with Indonesia of the framework's Experts' Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations," Minister Pyne said.
While in Singapore, the minister will meet with a number of his ministerial counterparts.
The ADMM-Plus will be attended by defence ministers or their representatives from the 10 ASEAN states and the eight 'Plus' countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the US.
Minister Pyne said, "The region must work together to address common challenges, including the evolving terrorism threat and continued tensions in the South China Sea."
The inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 12 October 2010. The defence ministers then agreed on five areas of practical co-operation to pursue under this new mechanism, namely maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations and military medicine.