ADMM Convenes for the 8th Time

Meeting for the eighth time in Nay Pyi  Taw, Myanmar on May 20, 2014 since the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) was convened in 2006, the defense ministers of ASEAN approved a workplan for 2014-2016 which contains activities of the defense sector that would contribute to the establishment of an ASEAN political and security community. And to further ensure efficient and effective conduct of these activities, the ministers likewise adopted additional protocols for the ADMM and the ADMM-Plus.

To help prevent conflict from arising and to defuse tension if it occurs, the ministers agreed to establish direct communications link between and among themselves with the possibility of bringing in ASEAN's dialogue partners such as China once the system is in place in 2015.

In his intervention, Secretary Voltaire Gazmin stressed the need to finally conclude a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea considering that it has been 12 years since the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) was signed between ASEAN and China in 2002. Meanwhile, ASEAN militaries should explore crafting shared protocols of interaction at sea to help ASEAN navies and maritime agencies avoid accidents and incidents at sea. 

Secretary Gazmin also explained that the arbitration case of the Philippines would also benefit China as a clarification of maritime entitlements of China resulting from the arbitration would enable it to exercise responsible leadership in the region. Secretary Gazmin once more emphasized these points during the informal meeting between the ASEAN defense ministers and China's defense minister later in the day.