Nay Pyi Taw, March 8
ASEAN member states must ensure harmony in diversity in accordance with the association’s motto – One Vision, One Identity,One Community. They must further deepen cooperation among them to build trust in reducing possible tensions occurred due to various reasons, said Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in his discussions at the 15th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces Informal Meeting (15th ACDFIM) held at The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore this morning.
Present at the meeting were the Senior General and members of the Myanmar Tatmadaw delegation and ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces and delegation members. Chairman of the 15th ACDFIM Chief of Defence Force of the Singapore Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Perry Lim delivered the opening address. Then video of the 15th ACDFIM was shown.
Director of Military Intelligence of the Singapore Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Ong Tze-Ch’n read out the meeting minutes of the 15th ASEAN Military Intelligence Informal Meeting and Director Joint Operations of the Singapore Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Tan Chee Wee the minutes of the 8th ASEAN Military Operations Informal Meeting.
Led by the Chief of Defence Force of the Singapore Armed Forces, ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces took part in the discussions in alphabetical order.
In his discussion, the Senior General said the discussion will be under the title – building mutual trust through cooperation among the ASEAN member states. Throughout the 50 years of its existence, the ASEAN member states overcame challenges in unity. Despite being able to overcome challenges, ASEAN members still need to deepen cooperation to successfully overcome some challenges while we also have to review the ways and procedures of the association. In this context, priority must be given to Confidence Building Measures-CBMs through largest cooperation in the region.
Building mutual trust means actions and step-by-step procedures to reduce military tensions in one individual country or between two countries or among global countries. Practically also, preparations have to be made to seek ways and means among those countries. Although there are many successful ways to build trust in the world, generally, there are only four main areas—communication, constraint, transparency and verification. Being able to build mutual trust facilitates prior agreements, thereby promoting cooperation. In addition, building mutual trust politically also plays a crucial role in reducing military tensions.
Besides building mutual trust, we need to develop our diplomacy so that our ASEAN member countries can successfully address political and security issues. Only after these two factors have been successful, will we able to resolve conflicts. On successful completion of the three stages, we will be able to maintain peace and stability of the ASEAN region.
The Senior General noted that today’s world is facing so many unusual security challenges such as cross-border crimes, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, information security, climate change and public health in addition to conventional security challenges. Moreover, he added it needs to make preparations for solving technological security problems which is a new challenge form. At present, he said Myanmar is facing conventional security challenges. Especially, he continued to say that local intelligence organizations place a special emphasis on exchange of information and continuous monitoring for timely prevention of extremist groups which may enter the region with attempts to commit terrorist attacks through illegal migration. Armed forces from the ASEAN member countries are making well preparations to be able to overcome usual and unusual security challenges. All ASEAN countries need to pay attention to regional stability, security and peace for the peoples. Myanmar is striving for overcoming good results to solve usual and unusual security challenges.
The Senior General explained that although a single country is impossible to overcome challenges and deep complications, all ASEAN member countries need to make collaboration and unity for successfully overcoming them in order to ensure stability and firmness for future security environment. Coordination and cooperation among the countries will have to respond to challenges related to terrorism the member countries face. Myanmar is practising the independent, non-aligned and active foreign policy which realizes the peaceful co-existence principles among the countries focusing on friendly relations among them. By holding up that foreign policy, Myanmar is striving for cooperation with not only regional countries but also other global countries.
Afterwards, the Senior General the ASEAN emphasizes implementation of the Confidence Building Measures-CBMs through ASEAN regional forums and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meetings as it is a community which has unity, peace and collective responsibility over any security challenges which may occur in any parts of the region.
If not, all member countries will face more and more usual and unusual security challenges. All the member countries should carefully review conflicts in the ASEAN region or challenges the ASEAN countries may face, with the aim of uplifting the capability of ASEAN in order to solve the conflicts and reduce tensions. Moreover, the Senior General urged all to consider challenges in other regions which may affect the ASEAN region.
Then, they discussed the two-year action plan (2018-2019) and signed the joint declaration of the 15th ACDFIM. After making a concluding remark, the Singaporean Chief of Defence Force handed over the duty to Chief of Defence Force of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Gen. Tarnchaiyan Srisuwan who will host the 16th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces Informal Meeting (16th ACDFIM).
Chief of Defence Force of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Gen. Tarnchaiyan Srisuwan extended greetings and the meeting came to a close. In the evening, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing held talks with Chief of Defence Force of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Gen. Tarnchaiyan Srisuwan and Chief of Armed Forces of Malaysia Gen. Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Bin Raja Mohamed Noor separately.
At the meetings, they cordially discussed promotion of friendly ties between two countries, exchange of trainees, and exchange of goodwill visits at different levels.
After the meeting, the Senior General exchanged commemorative gifts with the Chief of Defence Force of the Royal Thai Armed Forces and the Chief of Armed Forces of Malaysia and posed for documentary photos.