ASEAN defense cooperation maintained during coronavirus pandemic

(VOVWORLD) - The 14th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-14) took place via videoconference on Wednesday under the chair of Vietnamese Minister of Defence, Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich.
ASEAN defense cooperation maintained during coronavirus pandemic - ảnh 1Vietnamese delegates attend the virtual 14th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting.  

Minister Lich said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe consequences in many countries, while regional peace and stability have become even more fragile in regards to terrorism, transnational crimes, maritime security, cyber security, and water resources security.

Amidst such difficulties, ASEAN has shown a “cohesive and responsive” spirit in line with the bloc’s theme for 2020. The Minister said ASEAN has witnessed strong cooperation, especially in COVID-19 prevention and control, as seen through a number of initiatives like the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, or the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework approved at the 37th ASEAN Summit.

Minister Lich said: “ASEAN countries have maintained defence ties by creatively using digital platforms for communications and online meetings. On the basis of ASEAN defence ministers’ statement on defence cooperation against disease outbreaks issued in February, they have enhanced COVID-19 prevention partnership via sharing information and experience, providing medical supplies, working together to control cross-border movement and develop test kits and vaccines, and successfully organising an online drill on COVID-19 prevention and control among their military medical forces in May.”

The meeting approved defence cooperation initiatives, the ADMM work plan for 2020-2022, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Joint Statement on Defence Cooperation for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN.

Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich said the Joint Statement shows ASEAN’s solidarity and commitment for regional stability and development.

ASEAN Ministers appreciated Vietnam’s careful preparation and organization as ASEAN Chair. They confirmed that with the internal strength of each country and close cooperation among members, ASEAN will not let the pandemic affect their defence cooperation.

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