The 17th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces’ Meeting (ACDFM-17) was held online on Sep 24 by the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence under the theme “Military cooperation for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN”.
The Lao delegation to the meeting was led by Lt. Gen. Souvone Leuangbounmy, Deputy Minister of National Defence.
He was joined by leaders of other ASEAN countries’ defence forces, heads of delegations to the 17th ASEAN Military Intelligence Meeting (AMIM-17) and the 10th ASEAN Military Operations Meeting (AMOM-10), along with ambassadors and defence attachés of member states.
The participants exchanged points of view on challenges to the security of the region, discussed ways to strengthen cooperation and cohesion in the region and deal with common challenges.
They noted that non-military challenges to security are increasing, in term of complexity, and hard to predict especially transnational crimes, terrorism, maritime security, cyber security, natural disasters, drugs, among others.
The defence chiefs also focused their discussion on the Covid-19 pandemic noting that such pandemic has severely affected the socio-economic development, and caused a huge loss to the lives of human beings while the numbers of infections and deaths are rising constantly.
As for response to COVID-19 related challenges, the ASEAN chiefs of defence forces noted that the military in each member country has played an important role in concurrently performing regular tasks and actively taking part in common efforts of their respective governments, greatly helping to contain the pandemic and contribute actively to preventing, combating, controlling and addressing the outbreak.
The meeting urged the militaries of ASEAN member countries to enhance cooperation, promote solidarity, strengthen capacity, and build mutual trust through the existing mechanisms of the frameworks of ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting and ASEAN-Plus meeting, ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces’ Meeting, among others, to promote peace, stability, security and prosperity of the region and the world.
The ASEAN chiefs of defence forces also adopted ASEAN Militaries’ 2-year work plan (2020-2022) and the joint statement of the 17th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces’ Meeting.
Source: Lao News Agency