| Hakim Hayat |
INCREASING security threats affecting peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region demand effective and concerted military cooperation between multiple countries.
This was said by Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih bin Abdullah, the Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) in a speech during a welcoming dinner hosted last night for the Chief of Defence Forces and representatives from 26 countries participating in the three-day Chiefs of Defense (CHOD) Conference 2014, held for the first time in Brunei Darussalam and co-hosted by RBAF and the US Pacific Command.
The commander in his welcoming speech said that modern extremism, radicalism, large-scale pandemic and natural disasters had replaced traditional threats, further calling for stronger shared cooperation and responsibility, in tandem with the theme of this year’s CHOD Conference theme, “Multilateralism: Practical Cooperation Towards Shared Responsibility”.
“The intensity of these threats are capable of creating havoc regionally, more so to an individual state. The Asia-Pacific region, which comprises countries that are developing, relies greatly on the collective ability or capacity to recover fast from a massive hit,” he said, while citing the 2004 Tsunami, recent typhoon Haiyan and the mysterious disappearance of MH370 as examples.
Multilateralism is a fairly new concept resulted from differing security threats caused or enhanced by globalisation and the commander said it could address threats by leveraging on other strengths and synchronising efforts among countries in the region.
Meanwhile, the co-host, Admiral Samuel J Locklear III, in his welcome speech highlighted that the conference offers a unique opportunity to address, through open and honest dialogue.
He also touched on the impact of regional challenges and opportunities as well as the importance of a shared understanding and togetherness towards better regional security environment.
The dinner at The Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday was serenaded with Brunei cultural songs by the RBAF band.
Earlier during the day, bilateral meetings were held between the participating CHODs.
RBAF in a press release said the participation 26 countries in CHOD 2014 is a huge step for trust to be initiated towards effective collaboration.