A vision for politics and security in the region, tackling non-military threats and challenges, and maintaining cooperation in national defence were tabled for discussion at the Track II 9th Network of Asean Defence and Security Institutions (NADI) meeting which opened in Vientiane yesterday.
Delegates from Asean countries are attending the meeting, which continues today. The annual meeting comes under Laos' chairmanship of Asean in 2016.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Defence's Department of Military Science and History, Colonel Soulivanh Sengchanh, said the NADI meeting was significant because it was the first to be held since the Asean Community came into being.
He said Asean countries were together implementing the Asean Community Vision 2025, especially the Asean Political-Security Community Blueprint and Asean Community Blueprint, which showed that the people of Asean and the Asean member states could live together peacefully, democratically, and in a harmonious environment.
The Network of Asean Defence and Security Institutions was established in August 2007, to create a forum that would network and build confidence and familiarity among Asean think tanks and research institutions to facilitate closer cooperation.
Colonel Soulivanh said NADI meetings have played an important role in building mutual trust between Asean think tanks and research institutions in national defence cooperation and security, enabling the proposal of various policies to Asean Defence Ministers Meetings.
He mentioned Laos' hosting of the upcoming Asean Defence Ministers Meetings in its capacity as Asean Chair, saying they aimed to promote cooperation between the armies of Asean, and between Asean and dialogue partners, in order to enhance peace, stability and development in the region.
This week's NADI meeting is being conducted under the theme ‘Promoting Defence Cooperation for a Dynamic Asean Community'.
Topics for discussion include a regional political and security vision incorporating trends and challenges, enhancing defence cooperation to counter non-military threats and challenges, and maintaining national defence cooperation for a strong Asean Economic Community.
In his presentation, Director General of the Institute for Defence Strategy under Vietnam's Ministry of Defence, Lt Gen Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Duc Hai, stressed that in recent years Asean defence cooperation had increasingly developed.
Defen ce dialogues within the framework of the Asean Regional Forum, and Asean defence and military conferences had gradually been established, creating a number of platforms for wider and deeper regional defence and military cooperation at various levels.