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Eighteen Senior Officials of ASEAN and the Plus Partners of the ADMM Meet in Cebu

Chairing the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meeting (ADSOM)-Plus on April 7, 2017, Undersecretary for Defense Policy Ricardo David Jr. stressed that like rest of the international community, the Philippines is concerned with North Korea’s launching of a ballistic missile a few days before the meeting. North Korea’s ballistic missile program complements the 
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear weapons program, which notwithstanding sanctions imposed by the international community, is still being pursued.

The eighteen senior officials of the ADSOM-Plus were in Cebu for their regular meeting prior to the convening of the ADMM-Plus in October 2017. Included in the agenda of the meeting is an exchange of views on regional and international issues where the delegationa share their respective countries’ perspectives and outlook on pressing security issues.

Among the security challenges considered by the Philippines as immediate concerns are terrorism and violent extremism, disasters, maritime security and cyber security. The concern for cyber security has prompted the DND to propose as early as 2015 the establishment of a cyber security working group under the ADMM-Plus, which was eventually approved in 2016. The new working group will be co-chaired by the Philippines and New Zealand for the cycle 2017-2019.  With the work plan of the group approved during the meeting, all is set for the commencement of work towards promoting practical cooperation in the area of cyber security.

Likewise approved by the ADSOM-Plus were the work plans of the other working groups: maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, peacekeeping operations, military medicine and humanitarian mine action. These work plans were initially examined by the ADSOM-Plus Working Group when it met in Manila last March 2.

The ADSOM-Plus leaders also paid a courtesy call on Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, who flew to Cebu to receive the senior officials of the ADSOM-Plus countries. During their courtesy call, the ADSOM-Plus conveyed their respective countries’ support for the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN and Secretary Lorenzana’s chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus.

The other members of the DND delegation were Asec for Assessments and International Affairs (ASAIA) Raymund Jose Quilop, Director Marita Yoro of the Office for ASAIA, Director Jesus Lomeda of the DND’s Management Information System Service, Ms. Faysalleyah Abdullah and Ms. Rachelle Villaluna from OASAIA.

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