|Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan (R, front) attends a signing ceremony of the 2nd ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei, on Aug. 29, 2013. The 2nd ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus concluded here Thursday with the signing of the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration, in which the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to enhance peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)|
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Aug. 29 -- Defense ministers from ASEAN and its regional dialogue partners on Thursday reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening defense cooperation in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Brought together by the second ASEAN defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), which concluded here Thursday, defense ministers reiterated the strategic importance of the ADMM-Plus and the need of closer cooperation.
The ADMM-Plus mechanism has played a major role in ushering a new wave of multilateralism among ASEAN and its dialogue partners, said Mohammad Yasmin Bin Umar, chairman of the second ADMM-Plus, who described the meeting as "a significant milestone" in the evolving security architecture of the region.
Firstly convened in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on Oct. 12, 2010, the regional event has involved 18 member states, including ministers from the 10 ASEAN nations, as well as those from Australia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
Practical cooperation and activities have been conducted among the defense forces of the ADMM-Plus countries since the event's establishment, which have promoted understanding and improved interoperability of all member countries, according to the meeting.
On this basis, ministers agreed to further promote capacity- building through greater engagements and interactions, enhance interoperability through training and joint exercises, and establish mechanisms for effective response, said a statement issued after the meeting.
"We must continue to strive for securing the future of our peoples by responding effectively to current and future challenges and opportunities through the spirit of solidarity, compassion and collective responsibility," said Yasmin, who is also Minister of Energy of Brunei Darussalam.
The ministers also agreed to establish practical measures that will reduce vulnerability to miscalculations, and avoid misunderstanding and undesirable incidents at sea, the statement said.
Asia-Pacific nations should take a route of pragmatic cooperation and shared prosperity and maintain common security through dialogues and negotiations, as well as increasing mutual trust, said Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan at the meeting.
After the meeting, the ministers signed the Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration of the second ADMM-Plus.
The third ADMM-Plus is scheduled to be held in Malaysia in 2015.