DND Takes Part in 2014 Seoul Defense Dialogue

While good bilateral relations is a foundation of regional defense cooperation, multilateral mechanisms likewise play an important role in promoting defense cooperation between and among regional countries. This was highlighted by Undersecretary of National Defense Honorio S. Azcueta at the Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) that was held in South Korea last October 29-30.

Speaking at a session on maritime security and defense cooperation, Usec Azcueta highlighted the utility of having practical activities to include exercises among regional defense forces and high level exchanges in promoting maritime defense cooperation. He also alluded to the recently concluded maritime zone delimitation agreement between the Philippines and Indonesia as a manifestation of both countries' desire to address the issue of overlapping Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) through the rule of law.

Having participated in the SDD since it was launched in 2012, Usec Azcueta asked the participants what kind of a regional maritime order does the region want to establish: is it an order based on competing national interest or one that is anchored on regional cooperation.

Organized by the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Defense, the Seoul Defense Dialogue brings together defense vice-ministers, security experts and academics from all over the world to discuss defense and security issues. With the theme “From Conflict to Cooperation: Measures for Trust-building among Asia-Pacific Countries”, delegates from 20 countries and 3 international organizations took part in the 2014 SDD.