Discussion On Potential, Prospect And Direction Of Practical Cooperation

< BACK TO INTERNATIONAL starstarstarstarstar   Culture - International Press Release
12th October 2010, 09:30pm - Views: 690

Misc Miscellaneous Defence 1 image




Intervention by Minister for Defence Stephen Smith

at the Inaugural ASEAN-Plus Defence Ministers’ Meeting

Hanoi, 12 October 2010

Discussion on Potential, Prospect and Direction of Practical Cooperation

within the framework of the ADMM-Plus

Australia welcomes the discussion paper produced by Vietnam and Singapore on

practical cooperation.

We support the focus on the five initial areas of cooperation:  Maritime Security,

Counter-Terrorism, Military Medicine, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, and

Peacekeeping Operations.

The establishment of expert working groups will be important for building momentum

and ensuring progress between Ministerial meetings.

The membership and security focus of this new framework presents a real opportunity to

achieve practical outcomes on issues which matter to our nations, governments and our



Australia encourages early establishment of the expert working groups to commence this

vital work.

Maritime Security Working Group

Australia is particularly committed to the establishment of the Maritime Security

Working Group.

Maritime security presents strategic challenges for our region, due to a combination of

factors including:

Dependence on Sea Lines of Communication:  shipping through South East

Asia’s archipelago is vital to the economies of our region.

Threats to good order at sea:  these include piracy and armed robbery against

ships, maritime terrorism, illicit trafficking in drugs and arms, people smuggling,

pollution, illegal fishing, marine natural hazards and border disputes.

Constraints on cooperation:  despite many shared interests in maritime security,

cooperation between states can be inhibited by factors such as disparate maritime

capabilities and different understandings of maritime law.

Australia is happy to facilitate maritime security cooperation, as a Co-chair of the

Maritime Security Working Group in 2011, along with an ASEAN Member Co-chair.

Malaysia has kindly offered to join Australia in taking the important work of the

Maritime Security Working Group forward.

As Co-chair, Australia would focus on harmonising regional understanding of

international maritime law, promoting mutual understanding of maritime capability

development, and measures to reduce the risk of misunderstanding.

Australia would circulate a draft concept paper for comment by working group members

to guide this initial focus, in which Australia would welcome participation by all

members of this forum.

Thank you.

news articles logo NEWS ARTICLES
Contact News Articles |Remove this article