On December 10, 2020, Union Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh attended the 14th ADMM-Plus Meeting (ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Defence Ministers’ Meeting)/7th ADMM Plus Meeting 2020 held virtually at Hanoi, Vietnam. The meeting was held on the 10th Anniversary of ADMM-Plus. The meeting was hosted by Vietnam.
i.ADMM Plus is an annual meeting of Defence Ministers of 10 ASEAN Countries and its 8 partner countries.
ii.Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh was granted the privilege of addressing the session as a special gesture towards India’s contribution towards the forum.
iii.Rajnath Singh welcomed Brunei Darussalam as the new Chair of ASEAN in 2021.
Defence Ministers of ASEAN member countries & USA, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were present during the meeting.
i.Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh called on the members of the organisation to jointly address the threats of bioterrorism, transnational trafficking and pandemic diseases.
ii.All the participants agreed to cooperate in 5 areas of practical cooperation to undertake under the new mechanism – maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping operations.
iii.Rajnath Singh emphasized field training, and table-top exercises to increase understanding between each other and to maintain peace in the region.
iv.He also stated that Cyber Security and Military Medicine will be the topmost challenges in the modern world.
v.He welcomed the adoption of a concept paper on expanding ASEAN Direct Communication Infrastructure to Plus Countries.
He affirmed India’s support towards freedom of navigation and Free passage of Aircrafts in International waters according to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Achievements of 7 Expert Working Groups:
Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh lauded the efforts of 7 Expert Working Groups towards the sharing of best practice in the domains of Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, Counter-Terrorism and Peace Keeping Operations.
Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI):
i.Rajnath Singh highlighted the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the East Asia Summit in 2019.
ii.IPOI – a global open initiative for executing meaningful efforts towards a safe and secure maritime domain in the Indo-Pacific region.
Challenges to be addressed by Forum:
Rajnath Singh stated that Fundamentals of freedom, inclusivity and openness will shape the future of the region.
ii.He stated that the forum must address some major challenges which are – threat to rules based order, maritime security, cyber related crimes and terrorism.
The ADMM Plus is a platform for the members of ASEAN and its 8 Dialogue Partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Russian Federation and the United States, these 8 countries are collectively referred as PLUS
i.The Inaugural meeting of the ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2010.
ii.The platform was initiated to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the South Asian region.
Recent Related News:
i.On November 12, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi co-chaired the virtual 17th ASEAN-India Summit 2020 along with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam, the current Chair of (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
The Summit saw the participation of all ten ASEAN Member States.
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):
2020 Chairmanship– Vietnam with theme “Cohesive and Responsive”.
Secretariat – Jakarta, Indonesia
Secretary General– Dato Lim Jock Hoi
Membership– 10 States ― Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 1 Observer – Papua New Guinea