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Overview of Defence Minister’s participation in ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting in Singapore

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On October 19, 2018, Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman attended key meetings in Singapore. They were:

  • The 5th ADMM Plus meet and
  • The 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM).

Highlights:
The 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and the 5th ADMM-Plus was held on Oct 19 and 20.

Overview of Defence Minister’s participation in ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting in SingaporeSingapore’s Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen welcomed many of the defence ministers for the meeting.

About the 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM):
On October 19, 2018, Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in Singapore.

  • Singapore hosted and chaired the meet for the second time since its establishment in 2006.
  • The conference was attended by defence ministers from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the US.

About 5th ADMM Plus meet:
On October 19, 2018, Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 2-day 5th ADMM Plus meet.

5th ADMM Plusi. It is a forum for Defence Ministers from 10 ASEAN and 8 ASEAN Plus countries.
ii. The theme of this year’s dialogue was ‘Strengthening Cooperation, Building Resilience’.
iii.  It was chaired by Singapore for the first time since its establishment in 2010.
iv. The dialogue adopted two resolutions on ‘Countering the Threat of Terrorism’ and ‘Practical Confidence Building Measures’.
v. Defence minister addressed the meet with the following:

  • India’s concern on challenges to international peace and stability due to the threat of terrorism,
  • India’s view on Indo-Pacific as an open, balanced region,
  • India’s commitment to maintain a sustained focus of its ‘Act East’ policy in terms of economic, cultural and developmental engagement of the region,
  • India welcomed Thailand’s taking over the chairmanship of the ADMM Plus.

vi. India and Myanmar are the co-chairs for the Expert Working Group for Military Medicine for this cycle and a standalone Field Training Exercise on Military Medicine will be held in Lucknow in March 2019.
vii. Additionally, ASEAN Military Medicine Handbook will be released.

About the 2 ADMM meetings:
The ADMM and ADMM-Plus serves as key Ministerial-level platforms in the regional security architecture, promoting strategic dialogue and practical cooperation between ASEAN and its partners.

Bilateral Meetings with other delegates:
On the side-lines of the ADMM Plus meeting, she also held constructive bilateral discussions with the Defence Minister of the USA, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Bilateral Meetings with other delegates:i. She also held meeting the Defence Ministers of Russia, China, Thailand, Lao PDR, and Myanmar.
ii. Some of the delegation level talks were held with:

  • United States Secretary of Defence: Mr. James  Mattis.
  • Malaysian counterpart Mohamad bin Sabu,
  • Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne,
  • Philippines’ Secretary of National Defence Delfin Lorenzana and
  • Vietnam Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich.

With delegates of Singapore:
She held talks with Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Mr. Teo Chee Hean and Defence Minister of Singapore Dr. Ng Eng Hen.
On her meeting with her Singapore counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen, the following were discussed:

  • Extension of their already comprehensive bilateral defence collaboration.
  • MOU for Army-to-Army collaboration, bilateral hosting of logistics and exchange visits by of naval vessels,
  • Celebrating 25 years of SINBEX, an annual exercise with a two-week naval exercise programme in the Bay of Bengal.

ASEAN:
♦ Full Form: Association of South East Asian Nations.
♦ Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia.
♦ Members (10): Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Brunei.

Singapore:
♦ Capital: Singapore.
♦ Currency: Singapore dollar.