Brunei Darussalam and Australia co-chaired the ASEAN Regional Forum Defence Officials’ Dialogue (ARF DOD) that was held virtually at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas yesterday.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar bin Haji Ma’awiah emphasised the need to discuss the opportunities and challenges of emerging technologies that may impact the defence and security sector, to ensure that the region remains future ready against any unprecedented challenges in the digital age.
The dialogue was co-chaired by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Strategy) at the MinDef Haji Adi Ihram bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud and Assistant Secretary Southeast Asia, International Policy Division, at the Department of Defence, Australia David Lewis.
The ASEAN Regional Forum Defence Officials’ Dialogue (ARF DOD) was attended by the 24 ARF members as well as representatives from the ARF Unit from the ASEAN Secretariat.
In addition to ASEAN member states, ARF members comprise Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, People’s Republic of China (PRC), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), European Union (EU), Republic of India, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste and the United States (US).
This year’s theme, ‘Emerging Technologies and Impact to Defence and Security’, included two sessions. The first session looked into emerging technologies in defence establishments during which Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, China, EU and Japan shared on the rise of technological trends and the application of digital solutions in the military and defence sector. The following session proceeded to look into the challenges and best practices of emerging technologies by which Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and India shared on the rise of varying threats in the cyber domain and how best to mitigate such vulnerabilities.
ARF DOD, which convenes annually, provides a platform for ARF defence establishments to exchange views to strengthen confidence building within the ARF. The dialogue is hoped to contribute towards one of ARF’s premier aims of enhancing dialogue and consultation on regional political and security issues, which indirectly would help to preserve regional peace