Working Group Leaders of ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meet

The 10 working group leaders of the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meeting (ADSOM) met in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on February 21-22 and reviewed the progress of cooperation within the ADMM track, specifically in regard to the (1) Thailand-led initiative on ASEAN Defense Establishments and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Cooperation on Non-Traditional Security, (2) Malaysia-initiated ASEAN Defense Industry Collaboration (ADIC), (3) Indonesia-spearheaded ASEAN Peacekeeping Centers Network.

Also discussed in the meeting were proposals to further the cooperative work within the ASEAN defense sector to include defense and security dialogues with ASEAN partners, having specialized teams to undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts, cyberspace infrastructure to support the defense sectors’ initiatives and activities as well as firming up of guidelines in conducting activities.

The meeting also examined the progress being made in the wider ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM)-Plus and explored further means to enhance ministerial interaction among the 18 countries comprising the ADMM-Plus.

The initial outcome of the discussions in this area was subsequently presented to the defense working group leaders of ASEAN’s eight dialogue partners in a meeting on February 23. Also reviewed in this ADSOM-Plus working group meeting was the progress of practical cooperation within the ADMM-Plus through the work of the five experts working groups on HA/DR, maritime security, military medicine, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping operations that have been established. Preparations being undertaken by Brunei which is slated to host the 2nd meeting of the ADMM-Plus in 2013 were also discussed.