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ADSOM Working Group Meets with Plus Partners

Following the ADSOM Working Group meeting, the ADSOM-Plus Working Group convened in Manila on March 2-3 in preparation for the ADMM-Plus meeting which will be held back to back with the ADMM meeting in October 2017.

The meeting revolved around assessing the progress of practical cooperation between ADMM and its Plus partners through the various experts working groups (EWGs). Co-chaired by an ASEAN country and a Plus partner, these EWGs undertake practical activities in areas of mutual interest to include HADR, maritime security, military medicine, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian mine action, and cybersecurity.

The current co-chairs of each of these working groups, except for cybersecurity which is coming on line this year, briefed the meeting on the state of cooperation in their respective areas, with their respective three-year work plans approved in 2014 serving as the benchmark. Overall, what the EWGs set out to do in 2014 have been accomplished.

The new set of co-chairs for 2017-2019, presenting their work plans for the next three years, committed to build on the work plans of the previous cycle to ensure synergy and continuity. While not having a previous work plan to build on, the Philippines and New Zealand as co-chairs of the newest EWG on Cybersecurity, presented their plan of action that will culminate with a Table Top Exercise on Cybersecurity in 2019.

There was also a shared sense to craft the activities for the next three years in full consideration of the principles outlined in the paper regarding streamlining ADMM-Plus Experts Working Groups, discussed in the ADSOM Working Group meeting held earlier in the week. With the inputs from the meeting, the respective co-chairs committed to further refine their work plans before they are presented to the ADSOM-Plus when it meets next month. If these work plans are positively considered at the Senior Officials level, they will be endorsed for approval of the ADMM-Plus.

DND Assistant Secretary for Assessments and International Affairs Raymund Jose Quilop chaired the meeting. Delegations from the 9 other ASEAN members, the eight Plus partners of ASEAN to include Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the US, and the ASEAN Secretariat were in attendance.
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