Defence Ministers from across the Indo-Pacific have come together virtually for the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus).
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, participated in her second ADMM-Plus meeting, reinforcing Australia’s commitment to a peaceful, inclusive, sovereign and resilient Indo-Pacific.
“The ADMM-Plus has strengthened practical cooperation and dialogue over the past decade and helped to shape responses to shared security challenges,” Minister Reynolds said.
“It will become even more important as we confront the emerging challenges outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update.
“COVID-19 has altered the region’s economic and strategic landscape dramatically and accelerated the geostrategic trends that affect Australia’s interests.
“The 2020 Defence Strategic Update reinforced Defence’s focus on our immediate region, including Southeast Asia, and the value of working with our partners to shape the future of the region.
“The Prime Minister’s announcement of an additional $104 million for security cooperation programs in Southeast Asia at the ASEAN-Australia Leaders’ Summit highlights this Government’s dedication to delivering on that commitment.”
“Since becoming ASEAN’s first dialogue partner in 1974, Australia has deepened its engagement across the board with this important institution,” Minister Reynolds said.
“This meeting demonstrates the growing strength and complexity of our defence engagement. I was pleased with the ADMM-Plus’ ongoing commitment to strengthening regional cooperation and to resolving disputes peacefully, without coercion, and in accordance with international law.”
The ADMM-Plus consists of the ten ASEAN states and eight ‘Plus’ nations: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.
The full statement is available on the ASEAN website.