ADSOM+ promotes cooperation in response to COVID-19

Wednesday, 2020-07-08 09:18:16
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The ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus video conference. (Photo: NDO/Linh Phan)
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NDO/VNA - The Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence hosted an ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus (ADSOM+) via video conference on July 7, aiming to promote practical defence cooperation between ASEAN member nations and partner countries to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other non-traditional security challenges.

The event was attended by Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich, Deputy Minister of National Defence and head of ADSOM+ Vietnam, Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, heads of ADSOM+ of other ASEAN member nations, and representatives from the group’s partner countries, including Russia, China, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Participants shared experiences of countries’ armies in responding to the disease and discussed activities being implemented within the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) framework and preparations for ADSOM and ADSOM+ that were scheduled for August in Vietnam and ADMM and ADMM+ in late 2020.

In his remarks, Lich said the presence of the attendees at the event showed their strong cooperation and support for Vietnam as Chair of ASEAN 2020 as well as mechanisms in which ASEAN plays a central role.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has become a major non-traditional security challenge that negatively affects all aspect of society around the world, he said, emphasising the need to promote the role played by multilateral cooperation institutions and mechanisms in addressing the problem.

Sharing difficulties facing ASEAN member nations amid the pandemic, Lich expressed his belief that with their cooperative efforts the bloc’s member states will together overcome these difficult times and soon bring life back to normal.

Lich praised the efforts of ASEAN member states’ military medical forces, which jointly organised an online drill on COVID-19 prevention and control recently, saying that this was a practical activity that contributes to realising the results of the ASEAN Special Summit on COVID-19 and the joint statement of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on defence cooperation in response to the disease.

As Vietnam is Chair of ASEAN 2020, the Ministry of National Defence has attached special importance to and gives priority to maintaining cooperation within ADMM+, Lich said, affirming that Vietnam will actively make proposals and initiatives during the remainder of 2020.

He called for support and cooperation from other ASEAN nations and partner countries to jointly implement military and defence activities amid the complex developments of the pandemic.