Defense Officials in a Dialogue

Officials from the defense ministries of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) members are exploring mechanisms to ensure that the recently launched ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus and the ARF Defense Officials Dialogue (DOD) complement each other. This was the highlight of a meeting held in Sydney, Australia last 5-7 April 2011.

In the discussions, representatives from OASSA noted the respective strengths of the two bodies, with the ARF bringing in a bigger number of participating states and the ADMM-Plus focusing on practical cooperation. Both the ARF and ADMM-Plus also provide the platforms for bringing together the foreign and defense ministers respectively of Asia-Pacific states. The region should therefore leverage on these strengths with the ARF pursuing policy-level approaches on meeting security challenges and the ADMM-Plus ensuring that practical cooperation in addressing these challenges is sustained.

The meeting also discussed measures to further enhance maritime security capacity building of regional states, examined the prospects of future counter-terrorism cooperation and explored the viability of undertaking multilateral peacekeeping operations.

A meeting of senior foreign ministry officials comprising the ARF Intersessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures and Preventive Diplomacy followed the Defense Officials Dialogue.