The Defence Ministers of Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom reaffirmed their nations' continued commitment to the FPDA, and commended the FPDA’s achievements over the 46 years since its founding in 1971.
The Ministers affirmed that the FPDA is a constructive multilateral agreement and remains an integral part of the region’s security architecture. The FPDA has built trust and enhanced interoperability among the militaries of member-nations, promoted respect for international law, and contributed to peace and security in the region.
The Ministers also agreed that terrorism poses a clear and present threat to this region and beyond. In keeping with the FPDA’s remit, the Ministers agreed to share intelligence to deal with terrorist threats against Malaysia and Singapore, and further measures to strengthen counter-terrorism activities.
Commending the successful conduct of the recent Exercise Bersama Lima in Nov 2016 and Exercise Bersama Shield in May 2017, and noting that the scope and complexity of FPDA exercises have grown over the decades, the Ministers committed to continually enhance the operational value of the exercises including incorporating newer capabilities for the mutual benefit of all member-nations.
The Ministers also acknowledged that the FPDA plays a vital confidence-building role in the region and is part of the regional security architecture. They welcomed initiatives to enhance the transparency of the FPDA, and expressed support to enhance the observer programme, where non-FPDA countries in the region could observe FPDA exercises.
Looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the FPDA in 2021, the Ministers charged officials to work together to ensure that the FPDA continues to remain relevant in the region’s security architecture.
As part of the proceedings of the FPDA Defence Ministers’ Meeting, the Ministers will call on the Prime Minister of Singapore His Excellency Mr. Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana, and the Prime Minister of Malaysia The Right Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak via video-teleconference.