The 6th Fullerton Forum took place in Singapore from January 28 to 30, gathering nearly 100 defence officers and scholars from more than 20 countries to seek solutions to ensuring security, safety and stability in the region.
The Vietnamese delegation was led by Director of the Institute for Defence Strategy Nguyen Duc Hai.
Opening the event, Defence Minister the Republic of Korea (RoK) Song Young-moo said 90 percent of global trade is conducted using shipping routes, which shows that all countries around the world are closely connected via oceans. About 40 percent of the global population lives in Asia-Pacific, which makes up 52 percent and 47 percent of the world’s GDP and trade, respectively. Regional countries need to be responsible for ensuring navigation freedom in the region – the main centre of the global economy.
However, if dispute causes like territorial waters disputes, crimes, terrorism, and marine pollution are not resolved, it will be hard to ensure navigation freedom, he noted.
The minister added his country had proposed organising a forum on peace and marine order in the Northeast Asian sea areas with the participation of the navies of such countries as the RoK, the US, Japan, China, and Russia. It could be expanded to not only the entire East Asia but also Western Asia.
At the forum, the Vietnamese officer highly valued the RoK’s initiative and shared the view that cooperation mechanisms like the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus are critical to addressing security challenges in the region, especially non-traditional security issues.
Countries need to ensure safety, security, and freedom of navigation and aviation on the basis on international law, ensure international order with respect for law, not use or threaten to use force in solving international affairs.
Lt Gen. Nguyen Duc Hai stressed that growing non-traditional challenges like cyber attacks have affected not only economy but also all fields, particularly security-defence. Therefore, countries should seek cooperation solutions as those challenges cannot be solved by a single nation.
Issues under discussion at the Fullerton Forum include protection of interests and prevention of conflicts, terrorism and counter-terrorism, management of marine security, and solutions for security cooperation.