Asean MoU puts peace first

published :
23 Jun 2022 at 19:36

From left: Laos’ Defence Minister Chansomone Chanyalath, Malaysia’s Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Myanmar’s Defence Minister Mya Tun Oo, Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Tea Banh, Philippines’ Defence Minister Jose Faustino, Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Thailand’s Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan pose for a group photograph during the Asean Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in Phnom Penh on Thursday. (Photo: AFP)

PHNOM PENH: Defence ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to endorse peaceful resolutions to any regional conflict that may emerge at their recent summit.

At the three-day Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) that wrapped up on Thursday, ministers signed a joint declaration to strengthen the bloc’s defence affairs and work closely together in the interests of peace and security.

The meeting recognised that security threats have become increasingly complicated, with risks now including biological, chemical, radiation-based, cyber and marine terrorism, Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, spokesman for the Defence Ministry, said on Thursday.

The summit resolved to set up a new network focusing on cooperation in military education within Southeast Asia.

The bloc agreed that their armed forces should collaborate more to prevent the spread of communicable diseases across the borders.

They also vowed to work harder to promote women’s rights and freedom, the spokesman said.

The Asean defence ministers also engaged in a dialogue with their Chinese and Japanese counterparts — neither of which is an Asean member — and thanked them for offering assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic, Gen Kongcheep said.

The bloc resolved to avoid geopolitical conflicts in the region based on preventable misunderstandings and other issues, he added.