ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Undertaking

The Philippines participated in the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus Experts’ Working Group (EWG) on Maritime Security (MS) last February 8-11, 2012 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Co-chaired by Malaysia and Australia, the other participants came Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, New Zealand, , Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United States, Vietnam and the ASEAN Secretariat. Operating within the ambit of the ADMM-Plus, the EWG on MS aims to contribute to efforts to strengthen regional defense and security cooperation through concrete and practical cooperation in addressing maritime security challenges.

Reaffirmed in the meeting as priority areas of cooperation are piracy, protection of Sea Lines of Communication, maritime terrorism, smuggling (including people smuggling), protection of the marine environment and transnational crime. Also proposed were exchange of information on good seamanship, conduct of a search and rescue exercise, development of standards for protection teams for SLOCs and involvement of Coast Guards in MS activities. Agreed in principle was the establishment of a webpage to serve as a “brain trust” or think tank to support the work of the EWG on MS. It will also serve as a network of maritime security practitioners, organizations and sea power centers and contribute to policy formulation and confidence building. 

A tabletop or scenario based workshop will be held within the year to enable ADMM-Plus countries to gain confidence in sharing maritime security information with other members and consider how ADMM-Plus could develop cooperative responses to maritime security contingencies.