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Joint Declaration of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on Defence Cooperation for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN

10-12-2020, 01:10:00

Below is the full text of the Joint Declaration of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on Defence Cooperation for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN.

WE, the Defence Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, the  Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao  People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the  Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the  Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the  Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, met via videoconference on 9  December 2020 for the Fourteenth ASEAN Defence  Ministers’ Meeting (hereinafter referred to as “ADMM”); 

RECOGNISING the effects of geopolitical and geostrategic  shifts in the regional and global environments and the  implications of increasing regional integration and inter regional economic cooperation and connectivity and the  global trends including the Fourth Industrial Revolution,  which has an impact on security threats that are complex,  unpredictable, transboundary and increasing in frequency  and severity as well as provide opportunities for the peoples  of ASEAN Member States to navigate through this period; 

MOTIVATED by the efforts of ASEAN Member States in  moving forward together to strengthen a people-oriented and  people-centred Community that leaves no one behind, and  towards a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN; 

ACKNOWLEDGING the effective cooperation among ASEAN Member States in tackling disease outbreaks, including COVID-19;

REITERATING the principles and purposes of ASEAN as  enshrined in the ASEAN Charter and the Treaty of Amity and  Cooperation in Southeast Asia in strengthening ASEAN  Centrality and unity, and upholding a rules-based regional  order anchored in international law for the benefit of the  people; 

EMPHASISING the commitment of all parties to cooperate in a constructive and peaceful manner for the South China Sea to become a sea of peace, stability, and prosperity through the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) consistent with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea  (UNCLOS), within a mutually-agreed timeline. In addition, the parties are also committed in promoting maritime security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, and creating a conducive environment for peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea; 

REAFFIRMING the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 to  realise a rules-based, people-oriented, and people-centred  ASEAN of One Vision, One Identity, One Community with  enhanced capacity to respond effectively to challenges and  ASEAN as an outward-looking region within a global  community of nations, while maintaining ASEAN Centrality; 

ENSURING the implementation of the ASEAN Political - Security Community (APSC) Blueprint 2025 through a bold  and forward-looking approach that is responsive to the  challenges of the times and strengthening cross-sectoral  coordination within the APSC as well as cross-pillar issues  among the three pillars; 

UNDERSCORING the importance of ADMM and the ADMM Plus as the region’s de-facto multilateral defence and  security platforms for strategic dialogue as well as for practical defence and security cooperation; 

COMMENDING the progresses in the ADMM initiatives, comprising the ASEAN Defence Establishments and Civil  Society Organisations Cooperation on Non-Traditional  Security, the Use of ASEAN Military Assets and Capacities  in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR),  ASEAN Defence Industry Collaboration, ASEAN  Peacekeeping Centres Network, ASEAN Defence Interaction  Programmes, Logistics Support Framework, ASEAN Direct  Communications Infrastructure in the ADMM Process,  ASEAN Militaries Ready Group (AMRG) on HADR, ASEAN  Center of Military Medicine, ADMM-wide Education and  Training Exchanges, Enhancing the Linkages between the  ADMM and the Network of ASEAN Defence and Security  Institutions, Guidelines for Maritime Interaction, Network of  ASEAN Chemical, Biological and Radiological Defence  Experts, ASEAN Our Eyes, Guidelines for Air Military  Encounters, ASEAN Military Medicine Conference, and the  Role of ASEAN Defence Establishments in Supporting  Border Management; 

APPLAUDING the progress of practical cooperation under  the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups (EWGs), namely  on HADR, Maritime Security, Military Medicine, Counter Terrorism, Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian Mine  Action, and Cyber Security; 

EXPRESSING our satisfaction on the progress of the  ASEAN Member States’ militaries in forging practical  cooperation, namely through the ASEAN Chiefs of Defence  Forces Meeting, ASEAN Military Operations Meeting,  ASEAN Military Intelligence Meeting, and its related  cooperative platforms, the ASEAN Chiefs of Army Multilateral  Meeting, the ASEAN Navy Chiefs’ Meeting, ASEAN Air  Chiefs Conference and ASEAN Chiefs of Military Medicine  Conference; 

APPLAUDING the active, thorough and effective preparation of Viet Nam in 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship, including  measures to ensure security and safety, especially  prevention of disease outbreaks; 


1. ADOPT the ADMM Three-Year Work Programme 2020- 2022 to outline the future direction of ADMM cooperation while building on the previous ADMM Work  Programmes, particularly the ADMM Three-Year Work  Programme 2017-2019; 

2. INTENSIFY efforts to promote a cohesive and  responsive ASEAN in adapting to geopolitical and  geostrategic shifts through strengthening defence cooperation amongst ASEAN Member States as well as  with the Plus Countries to tackle traditional and non traditional security challenges, while upholding the  principles of ASEAN Centrality, respect for sovereignty  and territorial integrity, consensus-based decision  making, as well as flexible, voluntary, and non-binding  contributions with assets remaining under national  command and control; 

3. REAFFIRM the importance of maintaining and  promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom  of navigation in and overflight above the South China  Sea as well as the need to exercise self-restraint in the  conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate  disputes and affect peace and stability and avoid actions  that could further complicate the situation, and pursue  peaceful resolution of disputes, in accordance with the  universally recognised principles of international law,  including the 1982 UNCLOS, which sets out the legal  framework within which all activities in the oceans and  seas must be carried out; 

4. EMPHASISE the need to maintain and promote an  environment conducive to the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South  China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, while underlining the full  and effective implementation of the Declaration of  Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in  its entirety, thus welcoming confidence building  measures such as Code for Unplanned Encounters at  Sea, Guidelines for Air Military Encounters, Guidelines  for Maritime Interaction, and the ASEAN Direct  Communications Infrastructure and other activities under  the DOC framework to promote communication, mutual  trust and confidence, and reduce tensions and the risk  of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation in  the air and at sea; 

5. EMPHASISE our support of cross-pillar and cross sectoral activities with a view to advancing cooperation  amongst the three Pillars of the ASEAN Community by  focusing on creating a conducive security environment  for sustainability in all dimensions, including sustainable  regional connectivity through improving sea, land, air  and and people-to-people connectivity; 

6. ADOPT the Concept Paper on the ASEAN Flag to be  Displayed next to the National Flag at the Compound of  ASEAN Member State’s Military Units Participating in  United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, to foster the  spirit of solidarity in ASEAN Community in general and  among ASEAN defence forces in particular, and affirm  ASEAN's cohesion, development and consensus for the  noble purpose of maintaining peace and stability  throughout the world; 

7. ADOPT the Concept Paper on Developing the Linkage  between the ADMM and the ASEAN Chiefs of Defence  Forces Meeting (ACDFM) to set a clear reporting path  between the ACDFM and its related meetings, as well  as between ACDFM and ADMM and synergise both fora  to avoid duplication in defence cooperation;

8. ADOPT the Concept Paper on Enhancing the Defence  Attaché Posts Among ASEAN Member States to  emphasise the important role of defence attaches in  promoting multilateral defence cooperation; 

9. ADOPT the Standard Operating Procedure of AMRG on  HADR, which provides guiding principles, standard  procedures, concept of operations, and fundamental  requirements and protocols for AMRG on HADR in  utilising military assets and capabilities in assisting  affected countries in the region; 

10. ADOPT the Standard Operating Procedure of the  ASEAN Our Eyes (AOE) as a strategic information  exchange procedure and mechanism among ASEAN  Member States on violent extremism, radicalisation and  terrorism; 

11. ACKNOWLEDGE the important role of ADMM-Plus as  the highest ministerial defence and security consultation for the ASEAN Member States and the Plus Countries, at the same time promoting practical cooperation mechanism through its EWGs; and, the interest of  ASEAN’s friends and Dialogue Partners to contribute to  regional security and stability; 

12. COMMEND the progress of ADMM-Plus since the inaugural meeting in Ha Noi in 2010, including the  annualisation of ADMM-Plus and the expansion of the  number of EWGs from five to seven; 

13. WELCOME the 10th Anniversary of the Founding of the  ADMM-Plus to be held on 10 December 2020, which  marks the accomplishment of the ADMM-Plus as an  ASEAN-led mechanism for defence cooperation, and  reflects its continued commitment to regional peace and  stability entering the second decade;

14. WELCOME the new Co-Chairs of the ADMM-Plus  EWGs for the 2021-2023 cycle and the adoption of their new respective Work Plans; 

15. WELCOME Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship  and its hosting of the 15th ADMM and the 8th ADMM-Plus  in 2021; 

DONE on this Ninth Day of December in the Year Two  Thousand and Twenty, in a single original copy in the English  language.

National ASEAN 2020 Committee - The Sub-Committee on Communications And Culture
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