|The video conference on June 30 was chaired by the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence
The meeting was attended by heads of the ADSOM WGs of nine other ASEAN members, officials from eight partner countries, namely Russia, China, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India, and representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat.
It aimed to enhance substantive defence cooperation between ASEAN countries and partners within the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and to prepare for the online ADSOM+ slated for July 7. It also discussed issues relating to activities of ADMM+ experts' working groups and guests to be invited to the ceremony marking ten years of the ADMM+ mechanism.
Addressing the conference, Lt. Gen. Vu Chien Thang, Director of the ministry’s department for external relations and head of the country’s ADSOM WG, announced the successful organisation of the online table-top exercise on COVID-19 response for ASEAN nations’ military medicine forces on May 27.
The exercise was one of the practical joint activities held to carry out the Joint Statement of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on Defence Cooperation Against Disease Outbreaks, adopted in Hanoi last February, he said, noting that the ministry wishes to continue promoting substantive cooperation within the framework of the ADMM and ADMM+ so as to affirm defence forces’ role in joint efforts against disease outbreaks.
Talking to the press after the conference, Sen. Lt. Col. Pham Manh Thang, deputy director of the department for external relations, highlighted the event’s success, which showed ASEAN and the eight partner countries’ attention to and support for Vietnam’s chairmanship of the bloc in 2020. They also highly valued the host’s activeness, proactiveness, and flexibility amid the complex developments of COVID-19.
The results of the conference will be reported to the ADSOM+ on July 7, he added.