To commemorate 45 years of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), the Defence Ministers reaffirmed respective member nations’ commitment to the FPDA and its importance in enhancing regional cooperation and security.
They also recollected FPDA’s three guiding principles, which are first, as a defensive arrangement, the FPDA should maintain a non-threatening posture to avoid rousing sensitivities in the region; second, as a multilateral security arrangement, the FPDA should proceed at a pace comfortable to all its members with due cognisance to multilateral, bilateral and national sensitivities; and third, given the constantly changing strategic environment, the FPDA should continually develop and evolve to remain relevant as a security arrangement. These principles have been the foundation of cooperation and provide necessary direction for FPDA.
In this regard, the Ministers acknowledged and commended FDPA’s continuous growth in scope and depth since its formation in 1971, in tandem with the development of member-nations’ capabilities as well as the significant progress made in enhancing the interoperability among member-nations’ militaries through FPDA exercises.
All FPDA Defence Ministers expressed their countries’ aspiration to provide the necessary resources for the conduct of professionally valuable FPDA exercises to meet the evolving regional security challenges.
Recognising the importance of confidence-building measures especially with non-FPDA countries in the region, FPDA Defence Ministers welcomed initiatives aimed at engaging these countries, which include inviting non-FPDA ASEAN countries to observe FPDA exercises. This is to increase transparency and to alleviate any sensitivities towards FPDA activities in the region.
The Joint Statement is being released following discussions at the Shangri-La Dialogue, held in Singapore. While Senator the Hon Marise Payne was unable to attend the Dialogue, due to her election commitments, the Defence Minister joins her fellow FPDA Defence Ministers in releasing this statement.
More information on the Shangri-La Dialogue can be found at https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri-s-la-s-dialogue.
Henry Budd (Senator Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999