Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence
I visited Hanoi from Monday 11 - Wednesday 13 October 2010 to participate in the inaugural ASEAN-Plus Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM+).
By involving all members of the East Asia Summit, together with the United States and Russia, the ADMM+ strengthens trust and cooperation on peace and security matters throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Ministers agreed to the establishment of Expert Working Groups for issues including counter-terrorism, humanitarian and disaster relief, maritime security, and peacekeeping. This will build momentum and ensure progress on these matters between Ministerial meetings of the ADMM+.
Together with Malaysia, Australia will co-chair the Expert Working Group on Maritime Security. As Co-chair, Australia will work with other members of the ADMM+ to harmonise regional understanding of international maritime law, promote mutual understanding of maritime capability, and agree upon measures to reduce the risk of misunderstanding.
In addition to participating in the ADMM+, I held bilateral meetings with my Ministerial counterparts who attended, including US Secretary of Defense Gates, Japanese Defence Minister Kitazawa, Chinese Defence Minister Liang, Indian Defence Minister Antony and Indonesian Defence Minister Yusgiantoro. I discussed ways in which Australia can strengthen bilateral defence relationships with regional partners.
Reflecting the growing bilateral defence cooperation between Australia and Vietnam, I signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation with Vietnamese Defence Minister General Thanh.
Australia welcomes the establishment of the ADMM+, which further strengthens our region’s peace and security architecture.
Australia has been a reliable partner of ASEAN for over 30 years, and an active participant in ASEAN-related meetings, including the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit.
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