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FPDA partners reaffirm ties amid growing instability

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has met with representatives from the Commonwealth nations to discuss their ongoing commitments to promoting co-operative military responses in an increasingly tumultuous security environment. 

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has met with representatives from the Commonwealth nations to discuss their ongoing commitments to promoting co-operative military responses in an increasingly tumultuous security environment. 

Defence ministers from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK have reaffirmed their respective commitments to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA).

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The ministers recognised the significant role and contribution of the multi-lateral network in promoting cooperative defence responses amid growing threats to regional security.

Minister also acknowledged the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on partner nations, and noted the importance of supporting a recovery to foster economic development and preserve regional security.

“Assuring the resilience of the FPDA amidst these difficult times, the Ministers commended the FPDA Consultative Council (FCC), the FPDA Policy Group (FPG) and the FPDA Activities Coordinating Committee (FACC) leaders for their adaptability in utilising alternative platforms to ensure continuity in decision-making processes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said.

“The ministers welcomed the growth in scope and depth of the FPDA over the last 49 years, which has evolved to introduce elements of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter-terrorism and maritime security into FPDA exercises and discussions whilst retaining its core focus on conventional warfare.

“This development has enabled FPDA to retain its relevance in an increasingly complex contemporary security environment.”

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The ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to the FPDA’s founding principles — to remain relevant and defensive in nature, and evolve at a ‘pace comfortable to all’.

“Complementing these founding principles, the '3Rs' principles of adhering to the FPDA’s Remit, maintaining Relevance and providing Reassurance to the region are cardinal in guiding the FPDA’s future outlook,” Minister Reynolds added.

Members agreed to continue planning and organising FPDA activities, recognising the importance of enhancing co-operation on conventional military operations, building trust and confidence, developing greater people-to-people links and fostering interoperability between member nations’ armed forces.

Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the FPDA, partners committed to celebrating the occasion in 2021 to showcase the integrated capability, commitment to transparency, and continued evolution to “remain a relevant and trusted mainstay of regional security architecture”.

[Related: Rifle Company Butterworth marks 50-year anniversary]

FPDA partners reaffirm ties amid growing instability
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