DEFENCE MINISTERS’ MEETING AND
FPDA 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) celebrates its 40th Anniversary today. The 8th FPDA Defence Ministers’ Meeting (8th FDMM) was convened in Singapore today to recognise and celebrate this significant milestone. The meeting was attended by The Honourable Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Defence, Australia; Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi, Minister of Defence, Malaysia; The Honourable Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Defence, New Zealand; The Right Honourable Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Defence, United Kingdom. Singapore’s Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen chaired the meeting.
The five partners reaffirmed the key contribution that the FPDA has made to regional peace and security over the past 40 years. The FPDA’s multilateral cooperation and capacity building efforts have led to a range of practical outcomes of benefit to all partners and the region. In particular, the Ministers commended the progress made in FPDA exercises and activities, such as the joint and combined exercises Bersama Shield and Bersama Lima, and the land-focused command post exercise Suman Warrior. The Ministers acknowledged the contributions of Headquarters Integrated Area Defence System in facilitating capacity building and interoperability amongst the FPDA member-nations. The Ministers also acknowledged that the FPDA has provided a vital platform for dialogue and exchange of views amongst members.
Looking forward, the Ministers agreed that the FPDA continues to be an integral part of the regional security architecture and helps promote peace and stability. In maintaining its relevance, the Ministers approved the recommendations of the 40th Anniversary Stock-take Paper aimed at improving jointness, interoperability, and people-to-people interaction through multilateral exercises. While the FPDA will continue to build conventional capabilities, the Ministers agreed that more should be done to improve co-operation in non-conventional areas, including maritime security and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. The FPDA could also explore capacity building in counter-proliferation.
The five FPDA Defence Ministers reaffirmed the strong commitment of their respective nations to the Arrangements. The FPDA will continue to develop mutual relationships in security and defence, to maintain its relevance and effectiveness in the regional security architecture.