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ADSOM Working Group Convenes in Manila

With the Philippines chairing ASEAN in 2017, the Department of National Defense convened the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meeting (ADSOM) Working Group in Manila from February 27 to March 1 in preparation for the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus in October later this year.

The ADSOM working group deliberated on several initiatives for adoption when the defense ministers meet in October. Coming mainly from the Philippines, these proposals include among others taking stock and moving forward in regard to the various initiatives of the ADMM since it was first convened in 2006 and the ADMM-Plus since it was inaugurated in 2010 and streamlining the ADMM-Plus experts working groups to avoid duplication with what other regional mechanisms undertake. Also discussed are the principles for ADMM-Wide education and training exchanges and means to enhance the linkage between the ADMM and the Track II Network of ASEAN Defense Institutions. 

The various proposals of the Philippines have put on the table are anchored on the theme of rationalizing mechanisms and activities for an effective and efficient utilization of resources while promoting and undertaking practical cooperation among defense establishments in ASEAN and its Plus partners.

The discussions during the meeting yielded positive results with the meeting agreeing to endorse these proposals, including the suggestion to have a set of guidelines on maritime interaction to promote safety of navigation and avoid accidents and incidents, to the ADMM’s senior officials meeting next month for eventual submission to the ADMM for approval.

The meeting also reviewed the progress of cooperation through several initiatives that have been approved in recent years to include the use of ASEAN military assets in HADR, cooperation with civil society organizations in regard to non-traditional security, defense industry collaboration, interaction program for junior officers, logistics support framework, direct communication link in the ADMM process, militaries ready group for HADR and the center for military medicine. The Philippines reported on the outcomes of the meeting of the ASEAN Peacekeeping Centers Network (APCN) which it hosted in late 2016.

The meeting was chaired by Defense Assistant Secretary for Assessments and International Affairs Raymund Jose G. Quilop with all the ADSOM working group leaders of the ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretariat in attendance.
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