Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof yesterday chaired the eighth Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) as Brunei Darussalam’s ADMM-Plus Leader at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar bin Haji Ma’awiah and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Strategy) at MinDef Haji Adi Ihram bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud were also present, in their capacities as Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus (ADSOM-Plus) Leader and Brunei Darussalam’s ADSOM-Plus Working Group Leader.
In his virtual address, the minister expressed appreciation for the continued support from ASEAN member states and Plus Countries for Brunei Darussalam’s chairmanship of the ADMM and related meetings this year.
“Last year, we had the opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the ADMM-Plus. We see this as a milestone for the ADMM in its engagements with eight of ASEAN’s dialogue partners,” he said.
“Despite the experiences we’ve had in the past year, we continue to reaffirm our commitment and ensure the shared vision for a stable and prosperous region be maintained.
“Brunei’s theme for ASEAN, ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’, emphasises the collective approach and seizing greater opportunities to working closely with our friends and partners.
“As we advance into a new decade for the ADMM-Plus, as a platform to meet – even in virtual form – and exchange views to address common security challenges, my fervent hope is that we may be able to continue the strong and positive momentum of our practical cooperation that we have built up through the seven Experts’ Working Groups.”
The meeting observed the progress of the seven ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups (ADMM-Plus EWGs), while noting the resumption of activities this year, following a postponement in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The leaders were also briefed on reports on ADSOM-Plus, delivered by Brunei Darussalam’s ADSOM-Plus Leader.
Also present at the virtual meeting was ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, who delivered a report on recent developments in ASEAN, and highlighted developments in other sectoral bodies and pillars.
The Defence Ministers also exchanged views on the regional and international security environment.
The eighth ADMM-Plus agreed to adopt the ‘Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration by the ADMM-Plus in Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the ADMM on Promoting a Future-Ready, Peaceful and Prosperous ASEAN’.
Following the conclusion of the meeting, Brunei Darussalam will host the ADMM Retreat in November, which will also include the Handover Ceremony to Cambodia as the next Chair for ADMM and its related meetings in 2022.