Asean pact puts peace first

Asean pact puts peace first

Defence ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have vowed to endorse peaceful resolutions to any regional conflicts that may emerge, with all parties at their recent summit signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to that effect.

At the three-day Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) that wrapped up yesterday in Phnom Penh, ministers discussed and 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 are growing increasingly complicated with risks now including biological, chemical, radiation-based, cyber and marine terrorism, said Defence Ministry spokesman Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich.

Attendees at the summit also set up a new network to cooperate on military education within Asean.

The bloc agreed its armed forces should collaborate to help prevent the cross-border spread of communicable diseases.

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

During the meeting, the Asean defence ministers also engaged in dialogue with their counterparts in China and Japan -- neither of which is an Asean member -- and thanked them for offering assistance during the pandemic, Gen Kongcheep said.

The bloc is resolved to avoiding geopolitical conflict in the region based on preventable misunderstandings and other issues, he added.

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