Bandar Seri Begawan declaration by ADMM-Plus in commemoration of 15th anniversary of ADMM on promoting a future-ready

Department of Defence

1. The ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (hereinafter referred to as “ADMM-Plus”) was convened via video conference on 16 June 2021;

2. RECALLING the inauguration of the ADMM-Plus in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 12 October 2010 as a significant milestone in ASEAN’s history as it united the Defence Ministers of the ASEAN Member States and eight ASEAN Dialogue Partners for the first time and enabled the Plus Countries to contribute to ASEAN Centrality as well as capacity-building in response to common security threats in the region;

3. UNDERSCORING the importance of the ADMM and ADMM-Plus as part of the region’s key security architecture, which provide important platforms for strategic dialogue and practical cooperation for the defence sector, and REAFFIRMING the ADMM-Plus as an open and inclusive arrangement, with ASEAN at the centre, that allows ADMM-Plus countries to contribute to dialogue and practical cooperation on security issues;

4. REAFFIRMING ASEAN as the driving force within the ADMM-Plus, working in close partnership with the Plus Countries, and guided by a spirit of fostering collective responsibility and to continuously strive to promote trust;

5. EMPHASISING the importance of mutual trust and confidence, enhanced dialogue and cooperation in addressing challenges in order to strengthen the regional multilateral architecture to tackle pressing common regional and global issues; and to support a regional and international order anchored in international law;

6. RECOGNISING the unprecedented challenges endured by our region and the world as well as the implications of current and emerging traditional and non-traditional threats including the transboundary nature of cybersecurity, chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) threats, terrorism, public health emergencies including the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as natural disasters including those exacerbated by climate change;

7. REAFFIRMING our respect for and adherence to international law and the fundamental principles and purposes enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations (UN), the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and the East Asia Summit Declaration on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations (Bali Principles);

8. NOTING also that the ASEAN-centred regional architecture should be open, transparent, inclusive, and based on international law and RECOGNISING the contribution of Dialogue Partners to the ADMM’s efforts in promoting regional peace, security, stability and prosperity;

9. ACKNOWLEDGING that ASEAN is at the centre of an integrated and interconnected Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions as well as RECOGNISING ASEAN’s leading role in the shaping of their regional economic and security architecture, by promoting close cooperation through ASEAN-led mechanisms, under the guiding principles reflected in the ASEAN Charter, the TAC, the Bali Principles, and reconfirmed in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), including the principles of strengthening ASEAN Centrality, openness, transparency, inclusivity, good governance, respect for sovereignty, non-intervention, complementarity with existing cooperation frameworks, equality, mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual benefit, and respect for international law where the AOIP is intended to enhance ASEAN’s Community-building process and not aimed at creating new mechanisms or replacing existing ones;

10. COMMENDING the support of the ADMM-Plus countries on the current initiatives adopted by the ADMM including those that promote better understanding, confidence-building, interoperability, and preparedness among ADMM-Plus defence and military establishments;

11. RECOGNISING the advancements made by the ADMM-Plus including, by convening the ADMM-Plus annually since 2017, expanding the number of Experts’ Working Groups (EWGs) from five to seven; and the successful conduct of large-scale multilateral military exercises in multiple domains that continue to reflect the ADMM-Plus’ relevance to the region;

12. RECOGNISING the progress of practical cooperation under ADMM-Plus EWGs, namely Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, Maritime Security, Military Medicine, Counter-Terrorism, Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian Mine Action and Cyber Security, which have contributed to capacity building and enhancing interoperability amongst ADMM-Plus countries, in order to address security challenges for the collective benefit of forging a future-ready ASEAN;

DO HEREBY DECLARE TO:

1. PROMOTE the pursuit of practical defence cooperation and initiatives that contribute to the defence and military establishments’ capacity to be future-ready for regional challenges, while caring for the well-being of the ASEAN people and ensuring shared prosperity for the region;

2. STRENGTHEN the ADMM-Plus as the main multilateral mechanism for defence cooperation within the ASEAN-centred regional architecture to advance the cause of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region based on the principles of ASEAN unity, solidarity, centrality, and upholding of international law, including the UN Charter which is the indispensable foundation of a more peaceful and prosperous world;

3. PROMOTE peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region, including through the deepening of relations and effective practical cooperation, the adherence to the rule of law, good governance, the principles of democracy and constitutional government, respect for and the promotion of fundamental freedoms, and the promotion and protection of human rights, the right of every state to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion, non-interference in the internal affairs of one another, settlement of disputes by peaceful means; renunciation of the threat or use of force, and noting that the political stability in ASEAN Member States is essential to achieving a peaceful, stable, and prosperous ASEAN Community;

4. WELCOME the consistent positive contributions made by the Plus Countries to support ASEAN Member States’ capacity and preparedness to address current and emerging challenges including natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, public health emergencies and pandemics, and in mitigating their social and economic consequences;

5. STRENGTHEN defence organisations’ contributions to preventing, detecting, controlling and responding to the spread of communicable and infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and emphasise the importance of utilising the capacity of ADMM-Plus EWG on Military Medicine, the ASEAN Center of Military Medicine, and the Network of ASEAN CBR Defence Experts;

6. MAINTAIN efforts aimed at strengthening the ASEAN-centered regional architecture based on the fundamental principles outlined in the TAC, signed at the First ASEAN Summit on 24 February 1976;

7. REAFFIRM the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, prosperity, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight as well as the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes, without coercion, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea;

8. MAINTAIN the importance of putting in place practical confidence-building measures, for maritime security by exercising the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea and implementing the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 to ensure a peaceful environment conducive to sustainable development and prosperity in the region;

9. WELCOME the expansion of the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure in the ADMM Process to the Plus Countries which will strengthen strategic cooperation as well as provide a platform for engagement in dialogue and enhancing transparency, regional confidence, and security building measures, especially in the time of the pandemic;

10. ENCOURAGE the conduct of joint ADMM-Plus exercises amongst our militaries to build trust and confidence and to enhance our capability in addressing common security challenges;

11. STRENGTHEN women’s meaningful participation in peace and security cooperation, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325;

12. SUSTAIN the strategic dialogue and practical cooperation on regional defence and security issues among ASEAN Member States and the Plus Countries, including through the implementation of the ADMM Three-Year Work Programme 2020-2022 and the ADMM-Plus EWGs Work Plans for 2021-2023;

13. STRENGTHEN defence cooperation to overcome security challenges through the seven ADMM-Plus EWGs while upholding the principles of ASEAN Centrality, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, consensus-based decision making, flexible, voluntary, non-binding and resource-efficient contributions with assets remaining under national command and control;

14. CONGRATULATE the ADMM in commemoration of its 15th anniversary and COMMEND its contributions to the ASEAN Political-Security Community as well as its adoption of greater, outward-looking external relations strategies that subsequently established the ADMM-Plus;

15. WELCOME the convening of the 9th ADMM-Plus in the Kingdom of Cambodia in 2022.

ADOPTED in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, on the Sixteenth Day of June in the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-One.

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