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ADSOM Convenes in Cebu and Approves of DND Initiatives

Meeting in Cebu on April 4, 2017, the defense senior officials of ASEAN have endorsed for approval of the ASEAN defense ministers when they meet in October the initiatives of the Philippines' Department of National Defense. These include
(1) taking stock and ensuring synergy among the initiatives under the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus, (2)  principles for ADMM-wide education and training exchanges, (3) streamlining ADMM-Plus experts working groups and their activities, (4) guidelines on the conduct of ADMM’s informal engagements with individual ADMM-Plus countries, (5) mechanisms for engaging non-members of the ADMM-Plus, and (6) enhancing the linkage between the ADMM and the Network of ASEAN Defense Institutions (NADI).

The body also approved and decided to endorse  the ADMM’s three-year work program for 2017-2020 and examined the three-year calendar of activities which the Department of National Defense put together based on the inputs of the other nine ASEAN countries and the Philippines itself. Also endorsed positively at the level of the defense senior officials is Singapore’s proposal for the conduct of an annual ADMM-Plus meeting. The ADMM-Plus currently meets only every two years. If the ASEAN defense ministers approve of this in October, an ADMM-Plus meeting will be hosted by Singapore next year. 

The proposal to have an ad hoc working group to flesh out a set of guidelines on air encounters between military aircrafts was likewise positively considered. Singapore originally proposed a set of guidelines for such encounters but the ADSOM working group which met the day before decided to endorse the establishment of an ad hoc working group to iron out the said proposal.

The DND delegation was headed by Undersecretary for Defense Policy Ricardo A. David, Jr. as the ADSOM Leader with Asec for Assessments and International Affairs Raymund Jose G. Quilop as the ADSOM Working Group leader. 

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