It was co-chaired by Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Senior Lieutenant General Pham Hong Huong and Commanding General of the US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) Robert B.Brown.
Co-hosted by the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army and the USARPAC, the four-day event attracted representatives from land forces in 27 countries, namely the UK, India, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, the Republic of Korea, the US, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Japan, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, France, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, China and Vietnam.
It will feature three plenary sessions on land forces’ initial responses to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, multilateral cooperation, and enhancing role of regional cooperation in the effort.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sen. Lieut. Gen. Pham Van Giang, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army and Defence Deputy Minister, said the Indo-Asia-Pacific frequently faces various natural disasters such as typhoon, earthquake, tsunami and volcano eruption due to climate change and global warming.
Being aware of the need to enhance cooperation in and outside the region to cope with non-traditional challenges and offer humanitarian assistance and disaster response in particular, armies in the Southeast Asia have promoted initiatives such as establishing the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group and issuing a Code of Conduct on the use of military assets in humanitarian assistance and disaster response, he said.
These were practical activities to realise the goal of One ASEAN – One Response adopted by ASEAN leaders in Vientiane, Laos in 2016, he added.
Giang expressed his belief that joint work against common challenges will connect armies together, laying a foundation for collaboration in other fields for the sake of regional peace, stability and development.
On the sidelines of the PAMS 42, the USARPAC will hold the fourth Senior Enlisted Leaders’ Symposium and invite the Vietnamese Defence Ministry to engage in as an observer. Several group discussions, bilateral meetings and collective exchange activities are also planned.
Following the opening ceremony, Sen. Lieut. Gen. Huong and General Brown co-chaired a press conference to provide basic information about the seminar.
Huong said PAMS 42 contributes to strengthening friendship, mutual understanding and trust between Vietnamese army and those in the Indo-Asia-Pacific as well as reflects the active, proactive and responsible role of the Vietnam People’s Army in the region’s common issues, thus popularising Vietnam, its people and army.
The two officials answered reporters’ questions about basic solutions to improving humanitarian assistance and disaster response.