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ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting promotes Vietnamese initiatives

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May 13, 2020 | 06:00

ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Working Group Video Conference (ADSOM WG) got underway in Hanoi on May 12 with the aim of promoting Vietnam's initiatives during the ASEAN Chair Year and preparing for the ASEAN Senior Defence Officials Video Conference (ADSOM) which is set to take place on May 15

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At the event (Photo:VNA)

Among the attendants at the event were Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh Chief of ASEAN Senior Defence Officials of Vietnam, alongside representatives from the Vietnamese Defence Ministry, various heads of working groups of senior defence officials of ASEAN members, and other delegation members.

During his address Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh highlighted the bloc’s initial success in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic throughout the region, a feat which serves to underline effective intra-regional co-operation in practice. In light of this, ASEAN member states are preparing themselves to be involved in closer co-operation ties relating to non-traditional challenges caused by both regional and global disasters.

“The aim of the online conference is to discuss ways in which to boost ASEAN defence co-operation in the context of social distancing with many countries still being affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. When the epidemic is finally brought under control, we will accelerate the progress of the schemes. As the host country, Vietnam will do everything possible to finalise the proposed contents in order to achieve the best results,” said General Nguyen Chi Vinh.

The General is hopeful that the COVID-19 pandemic will not hinder or disrupt activities, while also suggesting that ASEAN could do even more if it fully utilises relevant information technology such as launching online tracing applications.

In addition, the Vietnamese defence official proposed a re-evaluation of the effectiveness of bilateral and multilateral defence co-operation activities among ASEAN member states with regard to the COVID-19 prevention.

asean defence senior officials meeting promotes vietnamese initiatives
Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh speaks at the event (Photo:VNA)

This can be conducted in addition to a review of the ASEAN agenda for the remainder of 2020, along with preparing a new plan regarding the preparation of ASEAN military medical drills in order to deal with non-traditional security challenges, including epidemic prevention and control.

Alongside co-operation within the framework of ASEAN, Lieutenant General Vinh suggested the necessity of intensifying exchanges among working group leaders on co-operation within the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM +), while also expressing a wish for ASEAN to swiftly repel the COVID-19.

Elsewhere, participants also discussed the year’s ASEAN defence co-operation activities, with a major focus placed on updating the ASEAN defence co-operation process, including preparations for a joint drill on handling the ASEAN Military Medical group in terms of activities to prevent and control the COVID-19.

Members also evaluated some new initiatives for the ADMM, a three-year working plan of the ADMM for 2020 to 2022, and the three-year working plan of the ADMM+ for 2020 to 2022.

During the meeting, the head of the Vietnamese delegation shared experience of the Vietnam Defence Ministry’s efforts in COVID-19 prevention, noting the positive contributions made by the Government to contain the virus and the use of military barracks as concentrated isolation sites. This was done alongside carrying out disinfection activities in areas identified as outbreak sites, boosting the local production of test kits, and supervising border areas.

The Vietnam Ministry of Defence has also been actively co-operating with other countries such as Laos, Cambodia, China, Russia, Myanmar, and Cuba to share experience and offer mutual support in the fight against the COVID-19.

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